Scotland’s independent think tank
Scotland’s independent think tank

2023 Must be the Year of Energy Awareness

  • Reform Scotland calls for “the gap between rhetoric and reality” to close
  • Think tank says cost of living crisis means government should better inform us on our journey to net zero

Reform Scotland, a public policy institute which works to promote increased economic prosperity, opportunity for all, and more effective public services, has called on the Scottish Government to make 2023 a year in which the public is better informed of Scotland’s journey to net zero, including its impact on them and their energy costs.

Last year, the think tank released a report with policy recommendations aimed at reducing Scotland’s energy demands to help meet net zero: Powering Ahead: Decarbonising Scotland’s Energy.

Reform Scotland has argued that while Scotland excels in its use of renewables for electricity, our use of gas for heating and oil for transport has been increasing, with the Scottish Government not going far enough, fast enough to reverse these trends. It has also said that there is a gap between rhetoric and reality on renewables and net zero, and that people in Scotland need to understand more about it in order to cope with the cost of energy in the years to come.

The recommendations in Reform Scotland’s report included:

  • Bringing forward the ban on gas heating in new buildings.
  • Banning the sale of new gas cookers in Scotland with immediate effect
  • Abolishing road tax and vehicle excise duty and replacing them with pay-as-you-drive road pricing
  • Amalgamating the many net zero timelines and targets into a transparent, public tracker

“Scotland is, and can remain, a global leader in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. We are, with our immense natural resources, doing a very good job of reducing our use of fossil fuels in the generation of electricity, down from around half less than ten years ago to only 10% today, with the remainder coming from low-carbon sources.

“However, we are in danger of tricking ourselves into believing that the job is done. It is not. Electricity is not the only form of energy, and indeed Scotland uses more than double the amount of gas as it goes electricity.

“Now more than ever, in the midst of huge energy price inflation, we need to understand where we are and where we are going, so that we can all be invested in a future with a secure, stable, affordable and clean energy supply. We can get there quicker with bolder action now.”

Alison Payne, Research Director, Reform Scotland


Powering Ahead: Decarbonising Scotland’s Energy