Policy actions  3 of 5

Energy efficiency in 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.

The standard will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions by 56% by 2020, 75%  by 2030,  90% by 2040 and net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045, in line with the requirements set out in the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act.

How we formulate the standard

The EESSH is based on the minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating. EPCs are calculated using the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for energy rating of dwellings 2012 methodology.

The EESSH milestones

The EESSH was introduced in March 2014 and set a first milestone for social landlords to meet for social rented homes by 31 December 2020. A second milestone (EESSH2) was confirmed in June 2019, for social rented houses to meet by December 2032. The EESSH2 milestone is that:

All social housing meets, or can be treated as meeting, EPC Band B (Energy Efficiency rating), or is as energy efficient as practically possible, by the end of December 2032 and within the limits of cost, technology and necessary consent.

In addition, no social housing below EPC Band D should be re-let from December 2025, subject to temporary specified exemptions.

The EESSH2 review

The Scottish Government proposes to review the EESSH2 in 2023 to strengthen and realign the standard with the target for net zero heat in houses from 2040, as set out in the Climate Change Update, the Heat in Buildings Strategy, and the Housing to 2040 Route Map.

The review will look at progress towards EESSH2, elements of the standard, air quality, alignment with the net zero target, and how the standard fits with changes needed across other tenures.

Relevant funding sources

To help social landlords achieve the required ratings we have compiled a table identifying potential EESSH funding sources, as well as some additional information for landlords on frequently asked questions around topics such as EPCs, building regulations and future-proofing policies.

As part of the Transition Programme for Energy Efficient Scotland, a £3.5m  Decarbonisation Fund for energy efficiency measures within projects that include decarbonisation activity was made available to social landlords across 2018/19 and 2019/20.  

A £3.9m second round of the fund has also been made available to social landlords across 2019/20 and 2020/21 to help them deliver energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation programmes within their existing stock. 

This will help landlords maximise compliance with EESSH and EESSH2 post-2020. Thirteen projects were approved for funding.

Monitoring and regulation

The EESSH is monitored by the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) which takes a risk-based and proportionate approach. Social landlords are required to provide the SHR with annual information on compliance.

Further information on the SHR's approach to regulating the EESSH is available on the SHR website. Any enquiries regarding the monitoring and regulation of the EESSH should be directed to shr@scottishhousingregulator.gsi.gov.uk.

Social landlords are making encouraging progress, with the SHR reporting that 85% of social rented homes are already meeting the 2020 milestone.

Key documents: