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The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requires the Scottish Government to set out how Scotland will meet targets to reduce carbon emissions from 1990 levels across all sectors by 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. There is also the requirement to reduce energy consumption by 12 per cent by 2020, as set out in the Energy Efficiency Action Plan. A considerable contribution can be gained from reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our homes as housing accounts for around a quarter of Scotland's total emissions. 

Energy Efficiency Standard for 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. It will contribute to reducing carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 in line with the requirements set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

The EESSH website gives advice and information for landlords and tenants.


In June 2012, the Developing an Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing consultation was published alongside the Sustainable Housing Strategy consultation which brings together Scottish Government policies on climate change, housing quality, energy efficiency, fuel poverty, planning and the built environment. It set out a route map and vision to 2030 for high-quality, warm, low-carbon homes. The setting of minimum standards for energy efficiency in the social sector will lead the way in retrofitting Scotland’s housing stock and will inform the potential future regulation of private sector housing.

As part of the consultation, the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing and the Sustainable Housing Strategy were discussed at a series of events. Social landlords, individual tenants, tenant groups and other stakeholders were invited to take part in the consultation, and the Scottish Government published the responses. Read the full analysis of responses, with an analysis main findings report. The responses helped inform the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing which came into force on 28 March 2014.

The stakeholder working group helped steer the development of the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing.

Case Studies

To help landlords plan for the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing we provided a series of case studies showing how various measures can improve the energy efficiency of their dwellings and help them to meet the standard. The case studies can be read on the EESSH website.

Impact Assessments

Three impact assessments support the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing: the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA). The SEA, Interim EQIA and partial BRIA were prepared alongside the consultation document. Interested parties were invited to comment on these and all relevant comments received as part of the consultation process  helped inform the final assessments. The SEA Post Adoption statement, the final EQIAEQIA results and BRIA have been completed.

Table of Relevant Funding Sources

The EESSH will support the social housing sector to lead the way in the reduction of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. It will also help address fuel poverty levels in the social housing sector. To help social landlords achieve the required ratings a table identifying potential funding sources is available. A Q and A for landlords is also available.

The EESSH is based on minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) energy efficiency ratings using SAP 2009 methodology.  As SAP 2012 is now being widely used, the Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE) were 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, also available on each page of the EESSH website.