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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-05922

  • Asked by: Miles Briggs, MSP for Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 27 January 2022
  • Current status: Answered by Patrick Harvie on 9 February 2022


To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to create a Rural Heat Decarbonisation Fund.


The Scottish Government has committed to invest at least £1.8 billion in heat and energy efficiency over the course of this parliament. This funding is delivered via a range of support options, which are available to households across Scotland, including those in rural areas.

The priority for our delivery programmes is to reduce fuel poverty and accelerate progress with decarbonisation of heating. Rural areas of Scotland experience higher rates of fuel poverty and already benefit from additional investment in energy efficiency measures. In line with our Heat in Building Strategy, we have expanded our offer to provide more whole house retrofits and a wider range of support for fuel poor households in rural areas.

We continue to invest in our Warmer Homes Scotland and Area-Based Schemes (ABS). This year we have increased funding for both schemes to a record £50 million for Warmer Homes Scotland (an increase from £32 million in 2020-21) and maintained funding at £64 million for our local authority led Area Based Schemes (an additional £9 million compared with 20-21).

We also continue to fund Home Energy Scotland to provide free and impartial advice on how to reduce bills and make homes warmer and cheaper to heat.

Home Energy Scotland Loans are available to homeowners who live in the property they own and to self-builders. Loans are available for both energy efficiency measures and renewables measures with up to 40% and 75% cashback grants respectively.

The Scottish Government will consult on a draft Islands Energy Strategy in 2022, setting out its approach to supporting island residents and communities to develop renewable energy solutions that can promote resilience, enhance sustainability, and meet their energy needs now and in the future. As part of this work, we will review the evidence base and options for an "islands uplift" across our delivery programmes as part of our commitment to provide additional support for rural and island homes for heat and energy efficiency.