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SCOTLAND Scottish Labour to introduce new fuel cost-cutting Bill

SCOTTISH Labour will introduce a new Bill to help cut fuel costs and emissions in all new homes, the party revealed today.

The Domestic Building Environmental Standards (Scotland) Bill would see all new housing built to Passivhaus standard or to a specific Scottish equivalent.

Passivhaus homes are said to be draught free, have high levels of insulation, triple glazing and optimise solar gain — all features that combine to make buildings “more comfortable to live in and very energy efficient,” according to the party.

Speaking at the launch of the consultation on the Bill, MSP Alex Rowley said: “The cost-of-living crisis has hit Scotland with a vengeance as forecasts warn that the average household can expect to see a potential increase of £271 per year for their food shop.

“Experts highlight that a lot of this increase comes from everyday essentials — we are seeing costs soar on basic foodstuffs such as pasta, rice, margarine and coffee — making it difficult to cut back as budgets are squeezed.

“Coupled with eye-watering increases in household energy and vehicle fuel, many families are being plunged into poverty for the first time.”

Mr Rowley said that the Bill will ensure that every new home built by councils, housing associations or the private sector would have to be built to high energy-efficiency standards.

He added that there was a need to end the costly retrofitting cycle “otherwise we will be dealing with the backlog of existing homes requiring retrofitting for evermore.”

Retired director of Energy Action Scotland Norman Kerr urged the public and politicians to get behind the Bill, while Friends of the Earth Scotland head of campaigns Mary Church added that raising the standards will improve public health, cut climate emissions and ensure household spending is significantly reduced.

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