Publication - Progress report

Warmer Homes Scotland programme: annual review 2018-2019

Published: 30 Jul 2020
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
Part of:
Energy, Housing

A review of how the Warmer Homes Scotland Scheme - part of the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland - has performed and made progress towards meeting its objectives.

65 page PDF

2.0 MB

65 page PDF

2.0 MB

Warmer Homes Scotland programme: annual review 2018-2019
Part 4: Objective 3 - Housing Stock

65 page PDF

2.0 MB

Part 4: Objective 3 - Housing Stock

The third stated objective of Warmer Homes Scotland is to improve Scotland’s housing stock. One of the key guiding principles is that the impacts of the scheme should be both sustainable and long-term. The scheme therefore aims to ensure that any measures installed in properties are appropriate and will deliver benefits for current and future inhabitants.

Table 5 shows the most and least frequently installed measures during 2018/19.

As in previous years, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, both of which are mandatory measures under the scheme, were the two most frequently installed measures. The most common type of measures installed were heating and hot water systems followed by boilers.

Of those measures installed during 2018/19, the least frequently installed were Solar Thermal, Hybrid Wall Insulation, Solar PV and Biomass Boilers and there were 16 measures available under the scheme that were not installed in any properties.

During 2018/19, no Solar PV was installed compared to 5 in 2017/18 and 1 Biomass Boiler was installed in 2018/19 compared 2 in 2017/18. However, 1 connection to a District Heating System was installed as well as 1 Hybrid Wall Insulation installation during 2018/19 with none having been installed in 2017/18.

This likely reflects the make-up of the domestic property archetypes in Scotland and the relatively new technology these measures offer, although cost may also play a part.


The first contact a customer has with Warmworks is when a surveyor carries out the initial in-home survey of the property to establish which measures available under the scheme are most appropriate for the property. The survey takes into account the property type, location and the fuel type used in the property as well as the heating and hot water systems currently in use and what insulation measures are in the property. The survey is then used to establish the most appropriate suite of measures for the property.

Under the terms of the contract, a 5% sample of surveys are independently audited on a monthly basis by Pennington Choices LLP who were appointed as the Scottish Government’s independent monitoring and inspection agent to undertake inspection audits, assessing them against the criteria set out in the contract and technical specification.

During 2018/19 Pennington Choices carried 350 pre-installation audits with no surveys failing or being given a Pass Advisory in comparison to 2017/18 when one pre-installation audit failed and no surveys were given a Pass Advisory.

The results of the pre-installation audits carried out during 2018/19 clearly demonstrates that surveys continue to be carried out in line with the contractual requirements and to a high standard and surveyors are recommending appropriate measures to be installed.

Installation & Inspection

All Warmer Homes Scotland installations are subcontracted by Warmworks to a supply chain of heating and insulation installers. The number of installation companies employed on delivering the contract has varied over the life time of the contract and at time of this review 21 companies were subcontracted. The majority of these are SMEs and they operate across Scotland, including 7 companies based in the Islands, to ensure Warmer Homes Scotland customers receive the same level of service regardless of where they live

All installers working on the Warmer Homes Scotland contract must have, or be working towards PAS 2030 certification and must meet the other industry standard certifications as set out in the Warmer Homes Scotland contract including MCS, Oftec and Gas Safe to enable them to install measures available under the scheme.

In addition, to ensure that all measures installed into homes under the scheme meet the requirements of the contract, Warmworks is required to inspect every installation within 5 days of the works being completed.

Warmworks also ensures that all installations are carried out in line with the technical, health and safety and customer care standards as set out in the Warmer Homes Scotland contract, which goes beyond industry norms in the standards that it sets out. In addition, all staff undertaking work on the scheme must be in possession of a valid Disclosure Scotland Certificate.

To help monitor the quality of installation work being carried out under the Warmer Homes Scotland contract, Pennington Choices also carries out a minimum of 2 Work in Progress (WIP) audits per month and a random 20% sample (with no fewer than 65 jobs per month) of completed installations. These audits consist of both on-site and desk-based audits. A summary of the overall findings of these audits (including survey, WIP, and post-installation) for 2017/18 versus 2018/19 is at Table 6.

Table 6 – Results of Pennington Choices on-site inspections of a 10% sample of Warmer Homes Scotland jobs
Inspection Outcome Overall Result in 2017/18 Overall Result in 2018/19
Pass 91% 87%
Pass Advisory 4% 10%
Remedial 3% 2%
Fail 2% 1%
At Risk 0 0
Figure 10 – Percentage comparison of the results of the QA audits in 2017/18 and 2018/19
Figure 10 – Percentage comparison of the results of the QA audits in 2017/18 and 2018/19

A comparison of the outcome of the QA audits carried out by Pennington Choices during both 2017/18 and 2018/19 demonstrates that the total number of installations that passed inspection during the audit process has increased by 1.8% from 95.2% of installations that passed inspection during 2017/18 to 97% in 2018/19.

Although there was an overall reduction of 5.4% in the numbers of monthly installations during this period, the increase in the number of installations that passed inspection indicates that existing quality assurance measures are being applied consistently and effectively under the scheme and that these remain robust. This also indicates an increase in the overall quality of installations being carried out under Warmer Home Scotland.

During 2018/19, a total of 350 pre-installation surveys were undertaken with no jobs being marked as a “fail” at inspection, in comparison to one “fail” at inspection during 2017/18.

The number identified “at risk” remains constant with no jobs identified in either 2017/18 or 2018/19.

A comparison of remedial work between 2017/18 and 2018/19 has been carried out and the results are shown at Table 8. This shows that the number of Work In Progress jobs requiring remedial work, including those jobs recorded at audit as a “pass advisory”, “pass remedial” or “fail”, increased from 9 jobs from an overall total of 25 inspections in 2017/18 to 11 jobs from an overall total of 49 inspections in 2018/19. However, when compared to the overall number of inspections carried out in 2018/19 this represents in percentage terms a reduction of 11.5%.

The number of Post-Installation jobs requiring remedial work increased from 98 jobs from a total of 859 inspections (11%) in 2017/18 to 104 jobs from a total of 766 inspections (13 %) in 2018/19. This represents in percentage terms an overall increase of 2%.

The small increase in the number of WIP jobs requiring remedial works, indicates that some sub-contractors are continuing to make some errors during the installation process (WIP), this in addition to the minimal 2% increase in the percentage of Post-Installation jobs requiring remedial work, indicates that although Warmworks’ do have quality assurance protocols in place, the need for an independent audit of the quality of installations is required both during and after the contractor has completed the installation to ensure these are to the standard expected by the Scottish Government.

Table 8 – Number of installations requiring remedial work identified by the QA process in 2017/18 and 2018/19
Inspection Category Review Year Total No. of Inspections Total No. Requiring Remedial Work* % Requiring Remedial Work
WIP 2017/18 25 9 36
2018/19 49 11 24.5
Post-Installation 2017/18 859 98 11
2018/19 766 104 13

*This includes all jobs audited at post-installation phase that have been recorded as “pass advisory”, “pass remedial” or “fail”.