Heat in buildings: Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Review Group


The Scottish Government recently ran a consultation to invite views on proposals for a new Social Housing Net Zero Standard (SHNZS). This will replace the post-2020 Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing, or EESSH2. This consultation closed on 8 March 2024 and the responses are now under independent analysis. We will publish a report of these analyses in due course.

We established the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH2) Review Group with the social housing sector to undertake a review of the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing post 2020, bringing it in line with the Scottish Government’s net zero target, and our guiding principles of a just transition that is fair to everyone and leaves no one behind.

The EESSH2 review is required because the current 2032 milestone is not aligned with net zero targets for heating. To meet our net zero target, by 2045 all homes in Scotland must have significantly reduced their energy use, and almost all must be using a zero direct emissions heating system. 

Recognising the Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce report calls for a Fabric First approach as an essential first step, the EESSH2 review is considering energy efficiency measures, together with clean heating systems and how these can be integrated in making more climate resilient homes, in a way that is affordable for tenants and protects those in fuel poverty.

Acknowledging the need for the sector to have clarity whilst the review is under way, the Scottish Government has issued interim guidance for social landlords to be the sector for during the interim period until a new standard is established.

Four subgroups have been created to look at eight elements that need to feed into a new target:

  • Just Transition, Metric and Heating System
  • Fabric First and Hard to Treat
  • Finance and Measures
  • Gypsy/Traveller Sites

The outputs from the subgroups will feed back into discussion by the main review group.


  • Neal Rafferty (Chair), Scottish Government Heat Strategy, Community Energy and Consumer Policy Unit
  • Michael Cameron, Scottish Housing Regulator
  • Mike Callaghan, COSLA
  • Sally Thomas, SFHA
  • Moses Jenkins, Historic Environment Scotland
  • Mark McArthur, Energy Saving Trust
  • Graeme Bruce, Link Group
  • Stephen Devine, Wheatley
  • David Bookbinder, GWSF
  • Tony Cain, ALACHO
  • Ken Gibb, University of Glasgow/CaCHE
  • Lori McElroy, University of Strathclyde
  • Bruce Cuthbertson, Tenant representative
  • David Downie, Tenant representative
  • Nick Clark, Ore Valley Housing Association
  • Donald Weir, Glen Oaks Housing Association
  • John Devine, NG Homes
  • Angela Morgan, Port of Leith Housing Association
  • Paul Leask, Hjaltland Housing Association
  • Ian Dawson, Fife Council
  • Dave Thomson, Aberdeenshire Council
  • Gregor Wightman, Stirling Council
  • Grant Gilfillan, Shetland Council
  • John Smith, South Lanarkshire Council
  • Roddy Hamilton, Changeworks
  • Ciara O’Connor, Scottish Government
  • David Sim, Scottish Government
  • Callum Neil, Scottish Government
  • Janice Pauwels, Scottish Government


Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Review Group: terms of reference



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