Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, has called again on the Scottish Government to do more to urgently address reported issues with new ventilation standards.
This follows an announcement yesterday from Tighean Innse Gall which stated that they would now no longer be able to administer government-funded insulation projects – not due to a lack of funding, but because demand for this work in the islands has collapsed due to the new regulations.
The ventilation standards set out in the PAS 2035:2019 regulations are now required to be met as part of any government-funded energy efficiency home improvements. They include the installation of 2cm gaps under internal doors, fixed mechanical ventilation and window vents, and TIG say these requirements have dramatically reduced the number of people in the islands who are willing to accept much-needed retrofitting measures which are meant to help make their homes warmer.
Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Patrick Harvie, has said that his officials are in discussions with the British Standards Institute regarding both the application of the current regulations and what exceptions could be put in place to better reflect the climate of certain areas, such as the Western Isles.
Commenting on the situation, Allan said:
“I have been working with Tighean Innse Gall since October to highlight the issues they outlined with the new ventilation standards to the relevant Minister and government officials.
“While Patrick Harvie confirmed recently that his officials were in discussions with the British Standards Institute about the suitability of these standards for coastal areas such as the Western Isles, there needs to be an alternative solution urgently put in place to allow organisations to continue to help local people improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
“TIG’s decision to cease their administration of government funded insulation projects is not one which will have been taken lightly, and reflects the seriousness of the problem at hand.
“In one of the areas worst affected by fuel poverty in the whole of Europe, it is imperative that funded energy efficiency measures are continued, and that the necessary changes are made to be able to allow this. Against the backdrop of the energy bills crisis, which will hit rural areas hardest, it does not make sense to continue to apply unsuitable ventilation standards which could make homes draughtier leading to even higher heating costs.
“I have today tabled another written Parliamentary question about this matter and have asked to meet ministers again to press for solutions.”