SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, today raised in Parliament local concerns over new UK-wide energy efficiency requirements. Alasdair Allan was speaking in response to the Ministerial Statement on the Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy.
New UK-wide industry standards for retrofitting energy efficiency measures now require fixed mechanical ventilation and window vents.
This has reportedly resulted in a decline in the number of people in the Western Isles who are willing to have insulation installed by providers such as Tighean Innse Gall, due to the accompanying mandatory ventilation requirements, which can cause significant draughts in many types of Hebridean properties.
Following a meeting this week with Tighean Innse Gall, Allan commented:
“In order to continue to reduce emissions and meet Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets, we must all be working towards making our homes and workplaces more energy efficient. This should in turn help alleviate fuel poverty in the long-term. Current figures suggest that 56% of island residents are in fuel poverty, which is the second highest rate in Scotland. We must be doing everything we can to make home insulation attractive.
“However, the mandatory ventilation measures that Trustmark insulation providers are now having to adhere to seem to be somewhat counter-productive, and unsuitable for the local environment here in the Western Isles. The idea of cutting holes in walls in the name of ventilation in order to comply with these new regulations is understandably leading to people rejecting insulation schemes from providers such as Tighean Innse Gall.
“I look forward to meeting with the Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings and Tighean Innse Gall in order to discuss these issues in more detail.”
Stewart Wilson, CEO of Tighean Innse Gall, commented:
"Over the last twenty years we have successfully delivered industry-recognised high quality insulation installations with customer care at the heart of what we do. It is therefore very concerning that we will have to apply the UK PAS standard for ventilation without considering the mean wind speeds we experience on the islands. This inevitably will mean the very people we are seeking to lift out of fuel poverty would be left with a much draughtier house risking even higher heating costs to maintain a level of comfort".