The latest report from Audit Scotland on progress towards cutting energy use in Scotland’s public sector (Improving energy efficiency: a follow-up, published 8 December) suggests that local authorities in particular still have a long way to go

With public budgets facing substantial cuts and the ambitious carbon reduction targets set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act looming large, public bodies ought to be leading by example.

Retrofitting public sector buildings to make them more energy efficient should be a cost-effective quick win in the drive to cut energy bills and tackle climate change. The verdict from Audit Scotland is that, overall, Scotland’s public sector “could do better”.

A drive to green public sector buildings will have the spin-off of boosting the crucially important repair and maintenance sector of the Scottish construction industry. Such a drive will also help keep apprentices in work, improve the viability of many firms badly hit by the downturn, and support the development of valuable green skills.

Michael Levack, chief executive, Scottish Building Federation