THE LIBERAL Democrats have matched an SNP commitment to transform 1 million homes to zero and low emission heating by 2030.

Willie Rennie, Scottish Lib Dem leader, has set out his party’s zero carbon homes strategy which he said would contribute to a commitment by MSPs to reduce 1990 levels of carbon in Scotland by 75% by 2030.

The plans would also create incentives for all households to improve their energy efficiency, with an initial five-year programme that the Lib Dems said would improve 80,000 homes per year.

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In the Lib Dems’ election manifesto, the party will declare home insulation a national strategic priority and set a target to have covered the whole country by 2030, double fuel poverty budgets and provide incentives for all householders. The party estimates these steps will create 34,000 new jobs in energy efficiency.

The party’s commitment to transform one million Scottish homes into low and zero carbon heating technology were announced by the SNP Government in February – which also included a pledge to upgrade an estimated 50,000 non-domestic buildings.

READ MORE: 1 million homes to be heated by zero and low carbon systems by 2030

Mr Rennie said: "Today I am setting out a commitment to switch one million homes from gas to zero and low emissions heating by 2030. This is a big number but if we haven’t moved half the homes in Scotland to climate-friendly heating by 2030, we will not meet our climate change targets.

"I have recently installed a heat pump in my own home and know how important it will be to line up the skills, training and business support for the tens of thousands of people who will be part of this transformation.

“I am concerned that, under the SNP’s best-case scenario plans, there will still be 1 in 20 households in fuel poverty in 2040. We must take action now to improve homes and make them greener and warmer. Work on this will create jobs, cut bills and tackle the climate emergency.”

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He added: “Scotland could be a beacon to the rest of the world, investing now to cut carbon from our energy networks will pay an environmental dividend for decades - we can’t afford to wait.

“We will bring forward an energy efficiency and zero carbon bill to underpin a new zero carbon homes strategy. This will introduce ambitious targets so we can meet our emissions and fuel poverty targets.

“When I say Scottish Liberal Democrats will put recovery first, this is what it looks like: more jobs, lower bills and greener homes. This is what people want politicians to focus on - improving lives and communities, not wasting another five years squabbling about how to deliver another divisive referendum.”