The Scottish government has announced new funding will be available to social landlords for energy efficiency projects across their portfolio.
Housing associations are to be given access to the Home Energy Efficiency Programme Scotland (HEEPS) loan scheme from 1 April, which until now has only been open to homeowners and private landlords.
According to a spokesperson for the Scottish government, the decision to include social landlords in the scheme was taken to reflect the fact that other funding schemes for this market had diminished, citing the Energy Company Obligation specifically.
They will be able to apply for interest free loans from a £5 million portion of the £14 million scheme, capped at £10,000 per household and covering a range of measures. The Holyrood government claims this change to the HEEPS initiative could benefit up to 4,000 Scottish households, depending on which measures are paid for.
Margaret Burgess, minister for housing and welfare, said: “For the first time the HEEPS loans scheme will be open to housing associations. This will help ensure their homes meet the higher standards for energy efficiency that have been set by the Scottish Government.
“Last year more than £8 million was saved in fuel bills thanks to the HEEPS scheme, covering 30,000 households.
“Since 2009 we have allocated over half a billion pounds on a raft of measures to help the most vulnerable people in our society heat their homes affordably.”
The announcement is the latest in a series of energy efficiency schemes rolled-out by the Scottish government in recent months. Since making energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority in June 2015, a number of initiatives representing significant sums of money have been launched, including an additional £14 million fund open to Scottish businesses.
A £30 million fund was unveiled earlier this month which will see public buildings fitted with new measures designed to improve the energy efficiency.