Statement from John Forster on proposed Scottish Government energy cuts

“With many households and businesses across Scotland struggling with energy bills and the rising cost of living, now is the time where support is needed most.

“The ongoing energy crisis has only made consumers even more aware of the need to transition away from traditional carbon-based fuels and embrace a more renewable future.

“The news that the Scottish Government is planning on cutting millions of pounds from vital schemes designed to support a transition towards a net-zero future is worrying.

“Increased and affordable Retrofitting of existing buildings, to help make them more energy efficient, is essential to our net-zero transition. However, this wave of cuts, particularly the £45m from the Heat in Buildings capital grants scheme, can only have a detrimental impact on Scotland achieving its net-zero targets.

“Just a few weeks ago I praised the Scottish Government following an announcement that it is to consult on reforming planning regulations for solar installations on non-domestic buildings. It’s regrettable that this may now be in jeopardy.

“With knowledge and awareness of renewable energy among consumers at an all-time high, it is crucial that we harness this and increase the support on offer – not take it away.

“By removing much needed support, we run the very real risk of going backwards and creating even more of a backlog of houses and buildings which may never be adequately adapted to make them warmer and more efficient.

“As industry shows leadership and investment in the essential skills of the future, through initiatives like the Forster Skills Academy, we need matching commitment from government to provide certainty for that investment.

“As Scotland’s largest integrated solar and roofing business we have worked hard with the Scottish Government to ensure solar has a seat at the table and is part of the discussion for the country’s renewable energy future.

“Now is a time for us all to tighten our belts but we shouldn’t be cutting off the supply to vital schemes which will help us out of this crisis, otherwise it will only deepen.”

John Forster, chair, Forster Group

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