National Public Energy Agency

thumbnail of UNISON Scotland Public Energy Agency Feb 2022UNISON supports the creation of a new public agency to direct the roll-out of heating decarbonisation and energy efficiency.

Strategic planning, support and funding is needed now. The key question is how to deliver decarbonisation whilst also achieving social justice and a green economic recovery from the pandemic.

UNISON believes that the approach to heat decarbonisation should be public sector driven and publicly funded rather than private sector led. The Scottish Government’s preference for relying on private finance to meet most of the estimated £33billion cost is mistaken. Private finance is the most expensive way to achieve change, cuts against the claimed social justice aims and takes time to mobilise which we cannot afford. 

Funding for heating decarbonisation:

  • must be fair and transparent;
  • must not be more expensive than public borrowing;
  • must not put the burden of the transition onto low paid public service workers, tenants in the rented housing sector, or local communities.

The new agency should be designed with reference to the Fair Work Framework and the principle of effective voice. Employee representation on boards is already best practice amongst NDPBs. We would hope the Scottish Government would involve UNISON as a stakeholder when designing the new body, to draw upon our knowledge as the union recognised by a range of NDPBs and consult us about employee representation on the governance of the new body.