Chapter 8: Potential legislative provisions
Potential Legislative Provision To Support The Programme
With a programme as ambitious as Energy Efficient Scotland we need to review our existing legislation and consider what new or amended powers or duties may be needed to support the programme. As a minimum we are considering the need for legislation to create a statutory duty for local authorities to develop LHEES and for regulation of district heating. We have previously consulted on these issues. We recognise that other new or revised powers or duties may be needed to ensure delivery and funding across all strands of the Programme over its 20 year lifetime, and are seeking views through the consultation accompanying this Route Map on what these may be.
Our fuel poverty target of removing poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty will be achieved via Energy Efficient Scotland.
The Fuel Poverty (Scotland) Bill due to be introduced to Parliament in June 2018 will set out the new statutory target - to eradicate fuel poverty by 2040. This Bill will also require that we report to Parliament every four years reviewing progress to date and setting out delivery plans for the next four years (as previously committed to under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001).
The draft Fuel Poverty Strategy will set three indicators to measure progress against this target:
- the removal of poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty;
- the reduction of the overall fuel poverty rate to less than 10% by 2040; and
- ensuring that the median household fuel poverty gap is no more than £250.
Our proposal to see fuel poor households living in homes that are EPC C by 2030 and EPC B by 2040 as set out in Chapter 3 supports these aims.
The focus of the Fuel Poverty (Scotland) Bill will be on fuel poverty provisions only. However, stakeholders told us in our previous consultation in 2017 that there could also be a role for regulation and quality assurance standards supported by legislation. We have committed to develop, if appropriate, a wider Energy Efficient Scotland Bill for later in this Parliament, and this would be the vehicle for any further legislative changes needed to support the Programme, beyond the fuel poverty provisions contained in the Warm Homes Bill. We are now asking stakeholders, through the accompanying consultation, what legislation might be needed, that could be included within a the Programme Bill.
There is already a wide range of legislation giving powers and duties to the Scottish Government, local authorities and energy suppliers to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and reduce emissions associated with their energy and heat supply.
To ensure that the Programme is underpinned by appropriate legislation in future, we would like stakeholders to comment on whether any changes are needed to existing legislation relating to energy efficiency and heating of buildings in Scotland to support the Programme moving forward. We are inviting stakeholders to do this by responding to the consultation accompanying this Route Map.
Further Legislative provision
In this Route Map, we have set out the various elements of the programme. These include issues such as:
- setting a long term vision for the programme;
- setting a long term standard for improvement of energy performance of domestic and non-domestic buildings;
- requiring improvement in the energy efficiency of buildings to meet required standards;
- amendments to an assessment process, including showing what is technically feasible and cost effective;
- making an offer of support to building owners and tenants to meet these standards;
- requiring local authorities to develop LHEES to determine objectives and design delivery programmes for the improvement of energy efficiency and decarbonisation of heat supply in buildings to help building owners meet these standards;
- giving local authorities powers to regulate the development of district heating in their areas, including powers to consent development, and powers to require public bodies to provide information regarding their heat supply with a view to connecting to district heating networks;
- ensuring that consumers are protected in the installation of energy efficiency measures to meet the Programme standards, or when connecting to district heating ;
- actions to develop and support the supply chain;
- monitoring and evaluation of the programme;
In order to support all of these elements of the programme, we are currently considering whether legal provision would be needed for:
- New or amended powers enabling Ministers to set long term standards for improved energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation of all types of buildings, including the potential to review this standard, and associated powers for assessment, monitoring and review of the programme, and enforcement of standards, if and when needed;
- New duties on local authorities to prepare LHEES, setting out how they will deliver the Programme over its 20 year period;
- New powers and duties to regulate district heating (including requirements for licensing of district heating operators, and consenting of district heating projects).
We have published a consultation to accompany this Route Map where we are seeking views on:
- whether any changes are needed to existing legislation, or;
- if any further legislation is required.