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Scotland must make green choices easier, say environmental groups

Environmental groups announced today that Scotland must make it simpler for householders and businesses to reduce carbon emissions through the installation of solar panels and air-source heat pumps.

The call by WWF Scotland, RSPB Scotland and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland comes as the groups submitted their comments to a Scottish government consultation that closes today (27 August).

They all backed proposals to extend Permitted Development Rights for solar panels on non-domestic buildings and for air-source heat pumps on homes, which would enable those wishing to install the technologies to do so in most cases without seeking planning permission.

WWF Scotland climate and energy policy officer Gina Hanrahan said: “This move will make it easier for more people and businesses across Scotland to install their own renewable and low-carbon sources of heat and power, helping to cut climate emissions, support jobs in new sectors and cut energy bills long term.

“Extending Permitted Development Rights to these promising technologies will reduce complexity and cost for consumers and hopefully lead to greater uptake.”

RSPB Scotland conservation policy officer Alexa Morrison said these proposals would make it easier and cheaper for people and businesses to get involved in Scotland’s low carbon transition: “Scotland needs a renewable energy transition in harmony with nature, and these types of small-scale technologies can deliver significant carbon reductions and at the same time benefit local people and businesses.

“In particular, heating accounts for around half of Scotland’s carbon emissions, so making it easier for people to install renewable heat technologies in their homes would be a very positive step.”

In Scotland almost 35,000 homes and 600 businesses currently have solar panels.

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