Scotland

Energy waste target set by Scottish government

Image caption The Scottish government wants to cut energy waste by 12% over the next decade.

Plans to cut energy waste over the next decade by 12% have been unveiled by the Scottish government.

It said a key area of the strategy would be a move towards renewable, green energy.

Among the measures on offer to help achieve the cut will be £10m in grants to councils to offer free insulation and advice to 100,000 households.

The Scottish government has estimated that £2bn in energy bills could be saved if the targets were reached.

A spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond said some estimates suggested that for every £3 spent on energy, £1 could be wasted on poor efficiency and lack of insulation.

"That's an extraordinary figure," he said.

"So as well as having an energy strategy focused very much on sustainability in terms of energy production, an equally vital objective is sustainability in terms of consumption."

The Scottish government recently announced a new target of sourcing 80% of electricity from renewables by 2020.

'Long overdue'

Campaign and lobby group Association for the Conservation of Energy (Ace) welcomed what it called the "long-overdue" action plan.

Ace spokesman Chas Booth said it was important that "a step-change in funding for energy efficiency was delivered in this Autumn's Scottish budget."

"If Alex Salmond is serious about tackling wasted energy, he must offer more than a recycled announcement of money agreed in last year's budget negotiations," he said.

Scottish Conservatives energy spokesman Gavin Brown said the SNP was guilty of a "shameful delay" in taking three years to publish the plan.

Scottish Labour described it as "too little, too late."

Scottish Liberal Democrats energy spokesman Liam McArthur said: "The plan lays a good foundation for the creation of jobs in the energy sector in Scotland but I am disappointed that aspects of the plan are lacking in ambition."

He said the Scottish government was "missing targets for reducing emission from their own estate altogether."

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