Scottish Energy Strategy & Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme – SRA Draft responses
Note both responses require answers to specific questions related to publications on the strategies, and we will not be answering all questions due to their relevance and our expertise.
Scottish Energy Strategy
Q. What are your views on priorities presented in chapter 3 for energy supply over the coming decades?
A. The priorities expressed by rural communities through the Manifesto for rural Scotland are for communities to have greater power over the decisions which affect them in relation to energy production, supply and distribution, particularly where there is potentially significant environmental damage as a consequence. The Manifesto calls for:
Investment to be focused on improving the effectiveness of and diversifying renewable energy production methods.
The financial benefits of energy production to be concentrated on the communities within the vicinity of energy production sites.
Communities to be incentivised and better supported to deliver their own renewable energy schemes.
Communities to have greater decision-making powers and influence over the location and types of energy production within their locality.
There are some areas of overlap with the Scottish Government vision and priorities and we welcome these. Specifically we welcome the emphasis on use of renewable energy sources and measures for carbon capture, reducing energy use and improving energy efficiency.
We feel the strategy could be more explicit regarding the investment Scottish Government will make in supporting innovation around renewable energy production methods.
We believe that the target for shared ownership of energy schemes (item 116) should be more ambitious, with consideration given to the implications of all new energy schemes requiring an element of community-ownership.
Q. What are your views on the proposed approach to deepening public engagement set out in chapter 6?
A. Whilst we welcome the principle of deepening public engagement, we feel this section lacks strength. Specifically, we believe that communities should be given greater direct powers over decisions relating to energy supply, production and distribution rather than be consulted with.
Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme
Q. Thinking about current Government schemes and the delivery landscape, we would welcome stakeholders views on:
- What currently works well, including aspects of existing schemes that should be retained?
- What are the main delivery challenges faced at present and how might these be overcome?
A. There are three key issues raised by our members around delivery of energy efficiency programmes including:
- To access schemes as a private homeowner or landlord, a consultation with a local agency must first be carried out. In rural communities, these appointments are often difficult to access for reasons of availability (no. of appointments), timing (i.e. in work hours) and access (location of appointments).
- It can be difficult for rural communities to source a suitably qualified and scheme-registered tradesperson, and for tradespeople to commit time to becoming registered. This can be a barrier to access.
Q. What should be included in a monitoring framework to ensure that the programme is effectively monitored and evaluated?
A. It is essential that monitoring breaks down results into remote and accessible rural to ensure that we are able to accurately monitor the impact of the schemes on rural vs urban areas.