Campaigners have called on the next Scottish Government to embrace demand-side response to lower the nation’s energy consumption.

Ahead of May’s Holyrood elections, environmental charity WWF Scotland and Edinburgh-based demand-response company Flexitricity said businesses, public sector buildings and other large energy users could become “invisible power stations” by lowering their demand so that less electricity needs to be generated.

Their calls were echoed by trade body Scottish Renewables and the Scottish Greens political party.

Alastair Martin, Chief Strategy Officer of Flexitricity, said: “We used to think of electricity purely in terms of nuclear, coal and gas. It’s now time to think of renewables, energy efficiency and demand response.”

1% cut a year to 2030

Gina Hanrahan, Climate and Policy Officer at WWF Scotland, added: “It’s far cheaper to reduce our electricity demand than it is to build new power stations that are only used for short periods of time.

“If we want to cut consumer bills and lower climate emissions then demand reduction must be a central part of any future energy strategy.

“Scotland’s political parties need to commit to a national strategy to help consumers and businesses cut their demand for electricity by at least 1% a year to 2030.”

> See WWF Scotland's statement