Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens and the party's economy and energy spokesperson, today (28 Sep) visited Scarf, a social enterprise headquartered in Aberdeen, to highlight the work it does providing advice on fuel poverty and training courses in energy efficiency and renewables.

A recent report for the Scottish Greens highlighted the opportunity to create many more jobs in energy efficiency and renewables than currently exist in oil and gas.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"Businesses such as Scarf provide an essential service as we tackle fuel poverty and bring our housing stock up to modern standards. Scotland has a huge opportunity to create many more jobs in energy efficiency and low carbon industries and that must come with greater investment.

"The Scottish Government has agreed with Green calls for energy efficient housing to become a national infrastructure priority and we await a step-change in funding. Meanwhile it is a concern that ministers have delayed a planned consultation on minimum energy efficiency standards in private homes until after the 2016 election.

"By focusing on the advice services and construction businesses required to deliver well-insulated homes we can create good jobs for the North-east economy, and begin a managed transition away from fossil fuels."

Visiting Scarf with Patrick was Alex Jarvis, Scottish Green candidate for the George St/Harbour council by-election taking place this Thursday (1 October).

Alex said:

“The services Scarf provides are absolutely invaluable. With out-of-control rents and the bite of fresh waves of austerity cuts, too many people are being forced into fuel poverty, left unable to heat their homes.

“To tackle the current housing crisis, we must put energy efficiency at the heart of the solution. As well as improving existing properties, we need to build new housing which is both affordable to rent and affordable to heat.

“The technologies exist and the opportunities are there - we just need the priorities and political will of Green councillors to make it happen.”