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Homeowners to foot the bill for SNP decarbonising shortfall

Scottish homeowners will be forced to stump up the costs of a shortfall in the SNP-Green Government’s funding to decarbonise one million homes by 2030.

In the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, Scottish Conservatives net zero spokesman Liam Kerr questioned the SNP-Green Government on the costs homeowners would be expected to pay, and how the government would support them.

The SNP’s Programme for Government has pledged only approximately £1,800 to each Scottish home to make changes to heating systems.

However, a parliamentary answer suggests the average cost of converting to a net zero system could be nearly £10,000 higher.


Green Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Patrick Harvie stated that the average cost of converting a home from a fossil fuel boiler to a zero emissions system is ‘just over £12,000’ with interest-free loans through Home Energy Scotland.

Speaking at today’s Net Zero Nation Debate, Liam Kerr pointed out that this would leave homeowners ‘to incur significant costs to help deliver the Government’s targets’.

The SNP-Green Government has committed to introducing regulations for zero emissions heat from 2025, putting an impending deadline on homeowners to implement the changes.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Liam Kerr MSP, said: “The SNP-Green strategy for net zero is making Scottish homeowners pay for their policies. 

“The government has either got their sums wrong, or they genuinely expect homeowners to find the money to pay for their shortfall.

“It is irresponsible to expect people to take out loans and carry a burden of debt when we are coming out a pandemic where people have lost their jobs and their businesses.

“Once again we see the Green party’s influence, putting their agenda above all others. 

“The Scottish Conservatives have always been clear that we need to live in a more sustainable way, but our transition to net zero must be fair.”


The SNP’s Programme for Government promised to “Provide at least £1.8 billion over the course of this Parliament to make our homes easier and greener to heat, and progress our commitment to decarbonise 1 million homes by 2030”. fairer-greener-scotland-programme-government-2021-22 (1).pdf

Written question reference S6W-02695. Liam Kerr (North East Scotland) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government what it expects the cost to be of the transition to non-gas boiler systems per household; by what method this has been calculated; on whom will responsibility fall to meet these costs, and what financial support will be provided to households to help them meet any of the costs. (answer attached)

Some properties which are already energy efficient and using zero emissions heating systems may require little or no investment. For other properties, the costs will be lower than the typical £10,000 to £12,000 set above because other types of zero emissions heating systems, such as heat networks, will offer a more cost-effective solution than heat pumps. However, there will also be properties where for a variety of reasons, such as constraints on technology options available, location, property type, impact on the fabric of historic buildings, space constraints, and capacity of the electricity grid, the cost will be higher than £10,000 to £12,000. Heat in buildings strategy - achieving net zero emissions: consultation - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)