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Energy efficiency in social housing

The Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) aims to improve the energy efficiency of social housing in Scotland. It will help to reduce energy consumption, fuel poverty and the emission of greenhouse gases.

The standard will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions by 42% by 2020, and 80% by 2050, in line with the requirements set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

As part of the Transition Programme for Energy Efficient Scotland, we are making £3.5 million available to social landlords to support energy efficiency and decarbonisation of heat supply. We are inviting expressions of interest until 8 June 2018. View more information on funding sources.

How we formulate the standard

The EESSH is based on the minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating. EPCs are calculated using the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for energy rating of dwellings 2009 methodology.

As SAP 2012 is now being widely used, the Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE) was commissioned to compile a conversion table which details the energy efficiency ratings required to meet EESSH using both SAP 2009 and SAP 2012. The full BRE report includes the conversion table.


Minimum energy efficiency (EE) ratings are shown in the table below and vary depending on the type of property and the fuel used to heat it. SAP ratings are expressed on a scale of one to 100; the higher the number, the lower the running costs.

Minimum SAP ratings to pass the EESSH

EE rating (SAP 2009) EE rating (SAP 2012)
Dwelling type Gas Electric Gas Electric
Flats 69 65 69 63
Four-in-a-block 65 65 65 62
Houses (other than detached) 69 65 69 62
Detached 60 60 60 57

How to achieve EESSH ratings

Landlords should consider the following list of common measures which may be applied to properties to help meet the EESSH ratings:

  • condensing boilers
  • double/secondary glazing
  • heating controls
  • storage heaters
  • loft insulation top-up
  • floor insulation
  • compact fluorescent lighting
  • solid wall insulation (external)

Relevant funding sources

To help social landlords achieve the required ratings we have compiled a table identifying potential EESSH funding sources, as well as some additional information for landlords on frequently asked questions around topics such as EPCs, building regulations and future proofing policies.

As part of our wider aims for Energy Efficient Scotland, the removal of poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty, and our ambitions for emissions reductions, we are making £3.5 million in capital funding available to social landlords for decarbonisation activity. This will help social landlords to comply with EESSH 2020 and maximise compliance with potential EESSH2 standards post-2020.

We are inviting expressions of interest until 8 June 2018. More information:

Monitoring and regulation

The EESSH will be monitored by the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) which will take a risk-based and proportionate approach.

As of 2016, social landlords are required to provide the SHR with annual information on compliance.

Further information on the SHR's approach to regulating the EESSH is available on the SHR website. Any enquiries regarding the monitoring and regulation of the EESSH should be directed to

2017 review of the EESSH

An EESSH review to assess progress and consider further milestones beyond 2020 is being conducted in two phases. Phase 1 has concluded with the review group producing consolidated and revised guidance – see key documents below.

Phase 2 will set longer-term milestones and take account of changes in technology that may offer additional measures to improve energy efficiency in housing.

In line with Energy Efficient Scotland, EESSH will be a critical part of realising our vision that by 2040 our homes and buildings are warmer, greener, and more efficient.

The EESSH Review Group recommended proposals which are set out in the consultation on the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing post-2020 (EESSH2). This runs from 2 May to 27 July 2018.

With support from the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Scotland and the Tenants Information Service (TIS) we are organising a number of half-day events for social tenants and social housing landlords across the country to discuss the proposals. More details

Key documents: