Scotland's social landlords are making good progress in achieving the first Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) milestone set for 2020
EESSH launched three years ago and levels of compliance are already high with the Scottish Housing Regulator ( SHR), which has responsibility for monitoring landlords' compliance, reporting that 69% of social housing met the standard at April 2016.
The vast majority of social houses in Scotland already meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard ( SHQS) which means improved living conditions for tenants across almost 600,000 homes in Scotland. By setting minimum energy efficiency ratings, EESSH will build on that success, it will help social landlords provide warmer, more energy efficient homes for their tenants.
EESSH minimum energy efficiency ratings for properties (shown in the table below) vary depending on the type of property and the fuel used to heat it. Achievement of EESSH by social landlords will mean that the vast majority of social houses will be either an EPC band C or D by 2020. Social landlords have the flexibility to decide on the appropriate measures to be installed in individual properties to best enable them to meet the required energy efficiency ratings. To date, they have funded EESSH from their own resources as well as utilising a range of UK and Scottish Government funds.
Minimum SAP ratings to pass the EESSH
|EE Rating ( SAP 2009)||EE Rating ( SAP 2012)|
|Houses (other than detached)||69||65||69||62|
The Scottish Government has set targets to reduce carbon emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The 2020 target has been met and EESSH compliance to date has helped reach it; progress towards full EESSH compliance by the 2020 milestone, will help achieve the longer target.
It is social tenants who will benefit most from EESSH as landlords provide warmer, more energy efficient homes. It will make a positive impact on levels of fuel poverty as improved energy efficiency will help reduce fuel bills. In conjunction with meeting regulations specifying minimum energy efficiency of new boilers, potential average savings of around £210 per year per household are estimated.
Tenants have an important role to play in maximising the benefits of the energy efficiency measures installed in their homes. Simple changes such as those listed below, can make a big difference in managing energy use more effectively:
- turning down the thermostat to between 18 and 21 degrees;
- reducing the hours the heating is on;
- turning down the hot water thermostat to a maximum of 60 degrees;
- buying energy efficient appliances such as light bulbs, TVs and other products when they need to be replaced; and
- washing clothes at low temperatures.
The Scottish Government believes all people in Scotland, whether they rent or own their house, should be living in a warm home that is affordable to heat. To achieve this, a number of measures have been put in place to provide support to those who need it the most - and the latest statistics show that almost 100,000 fewer households were in fuel poverty in 2015 than in the previous year. This is welcome news, but we know there is much more to be done. We have allocated over £650 million since 2009 and we will make available £0.5 billion over the next four years to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency. This means that by the end of 2021 we will have committed over £1 billion to making our homes and buildings warmer and cheaper to heat.
As a result of Scottish Government efforts and investment, the energy efficiency of Scotland's housing stock has improved steadily since 2007 - the share of the most energy efficient dwellings (rated C or above) increased by 74% since 2010 and we now have proportionately 40% more homes with EPC rating C or above than England. The energy efficiency measures being installed in both social and private homes across the country, will help families who are struggling to make ends meet by saving money on their heating bills.
The Scottish Government is going further by looking at proposals for regulation of energy efficiency in private housing. Consultation on minimum standards of energy efficiency in private rented housing will be launched early in 2017.
When EESSH was launched it was agreed that a review would take place in 2017. The review which is soon to get underway will be conducted in two stages. The first stage is likely to look at progress to date and consider issues such as funding and harder to treat properties. The second phase will look beyond 2020 and consider options to go further in the wider context of the Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme ( SEEP).
Please contact Agnes Meany on Agnes.Meany@gov.scot if you require further information about this.
Email: Annabel MacMillan