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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-16603: Graham Simpson (Central Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 May 2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether it still plans to introduce a Warm Homes Bill.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 22 May 2018

Yes. In line with our commitment, we will introduce the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill, which many will know as the Warm Homes Bill, by the end of this parliamentary term. As I indicated to the Local Government and Communities Committee on 16 May, the change in name ensures accuracy and neutrality of the Bill in line with Parliamentary rules.

The Bill is to be about all the fuel costs of a household, not just their heating costs – it is not considered to be acceptable for a family to have to make a choice between having the heating on and cooking their dinner, and the definition of fuel poverty in the Bill reflects this. This is therefore why the short title will be “Fuel Poverty” rather than “Warm Homes”.

This Bill will achieve three key things – it will set a new target for fuel poverty; introduce a new definition, recommended by experts, that will focus our support on those who need it most, no matter where in Scotland they live; and mandate the production of a new long-term fuel poverty strategy. These are all proposals that our expert advisers and relevant stakeholder groups have said are required.

On 2nd May the First Minister launched Energy Efficient Scotland, the Scottish Government’s long-term energy efficiency programme to remove poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty. The Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map sets out our vision for all buildings in Scotland – that by 2040 all our buildings are warmer, greener and more efficient – and how we will deliver on the National Infrastructure Priority for Energy Efficiency. We are seeking views on our proposals through the Energy Efficient Scotland consultation, including views on what legislation may be needed to support delivery of our energy efficiency programme and have committed to develop, if appropriate, a further Bill to support that later in this Parliament.