Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has challenged the SNP Government to do more to tackle fuel poverty in rural areas.
The Conservative MSP was speaking in a debate surrounding energy efficiency, which resulted in the SNP Government now being made to bring forward targets to make all buildings warmer and greener, by a decade to 2030.
Mr Carson had used his speech to highlight how the SNP Government had not seriously addressed energy inefficiency for rural homes in their recently published route map, while highlighting that the target to reduce fuel poverty to less than 10% by 2040, was not good enough.
He also raised the many confusions that his rural constituents have had with many energy efficient schemes and called on the SNP Government to ensure there is confidence and trust in the schemes.
In his speech, Finlay Carson MSP said: “The route map published last week says nothing about rural homes.
“The SNP Government have failed to seriously address the issues energy inefficient homes present for rural residents.
“The SNP Government say that they are committed to removing poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty.
“However, their lack of ambition to ‘eradicate’ fuel poverty in Scotland by only committing to reduce it to less than 10% in 2040, just isn’t good enough.”
He added: “In order to achieve energy efficiency, it is also essential that consumers have confidence in and trust any Government schemes.
“The benefits are still to be felt by far too many people, who simply do not have the required information.
“It is clear that the SNP Government must work harder to be made to highlight the many benefits of installing energy efficiency measures, to encourage owner occupiers to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.”
Speaking afterwards Finlay Carson said: “It is welcome that there was cross party support which will force the SNP Government into bringing forward the energy efficient targets by a decade.
“The SNP have not been nearly ambitious enough in tackling energy inefficiency in rural homes, so I hope they will now recognise that they must be far bolder in ensuring that those living in rural constituencies like mine are not victims of fuel poverty.
“With connectivity also still a major issue in rural communities, it is vital while aiming to reach these targets, the SNP make energy schemes far easier to access and understand, rather than causing undue stress to constituents.
“I hope the SNP Government will now tackle energy efficiency far more ambitiously than they have done in recent years.”