£11m investment to improve housing stock and cut emissions

Shetland has a “great opportunity” to reduce fuel poverty, cut carbon emissions and improve its housing stock, after investment of almost £11 million over two years was provisionally agreed with the Scottish government and the energy company npower.

The money will be spent on insulation and other energy efficiency measures, and will be available both for private and council housing.

It was announced last month that the Scottish government was offering Shetland £440,000 a year towards tackling fuel poverty and cutting energy usage. But a further scheme organised by the UK government now promises an even larger payout for the isles.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) requires the six largest energy suppliers to assist in reducing carbon emissions and energy usage across the country. Council officials contacted all of these companies in February to ask whether any would support a project in Shetland, and npower have now confirmed they are willing to allocate up to £5million per annum for the islands during the current and the next financial year.

This money can be used towards loft, cavity wall and underfloor insulation; draught-proofing; heat pumps; replacing inefficient boilers; replacing single with double glazing; and a wide range of other measures. Training of council staff and local contractors will also be required.

While priority will be given to those considered to be most in need, anyone will be able to apply to the scheme and have their home assessed.

The chairman of the council’s environment and transport committee Allan Wishart described the funding as “really exciting” for the islands.

“This is a great opportunity for Shetland to improve the standard of its housing stock” he said, “whether it’s private or council stock. With that sort of money we should be able to do a lot of improvements.

“One of the reasons [that this is important] of course is that Shetland is high on the league table when it comes to fuel poverty, and I think this is a great opportunity to make inroads into reducing that.”

Mr Wishart said he was “very anxious” that the project moved ahead as quickly as possible.

“There’s a lot of work attached to this” he said, “in terms of managing it and bringing the Green Deal inspectors up to scratch to get their certification.

“Also, there’s a lot of interest from local contractors to be part of this – I think it’s critical to have local people involved. I also hope the whole bureaucracy is kept to a minimum, both for those who apply and for the council people who will administer it.”

According to a report put before the committee this week, training for the scheme could begin as early as the end of this month, and the first work on housing could start during the summer.


Add Your Comment
  • JohnTulloch, Arrochar

    • May 8th, 2013 21:33

    Does this mean people won’t have to pay (thousands of pounds + loan interest) in order to get their “Green Deal” improvements?

    If so, the “Green Deal” must have changed so that taxpayers, not consumers, will foot the bill?


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.