The Scottish Government wants all our homes to be warmer, greener and more efficient, and is committed to ensuring that everyone in Scotland, no matter their financial situation, has access to good quality housing that they can afford to heat.
Social landlords have made significant improvements to the quality of the 600,000 homes they let to tenants in Scotland. Between 2004 and 2015 they invested an estimated £4bn to meet the energy efficiency and other elements of the Scottish Housing Quality Standard to make sure that more tenants live in warmer, safer and drier homes. Landlords are currently working towards the first milestone of the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing, and three-quarters of their homes have already been brought up to that standard.
However, despite the reductions in fuel poverty levels we have seen in recent years, it is unacceptable that 200,000 social rented households are still in fuel poverty, struggling with unaffordable energy costs to heat their homes. We are determined to remove poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty, and we also have ambitious targets for climate change emissions reductions, and for our homes to be carbon neutral as far as practical. That requires action across all tenures of housing. Raising the standard for social housing is part of a wider programme of change to deliver energy efficiency and low carbon heat. In parallel with this consultation, we are also consulting on our Energy Efficient Scotland Programme, which brings together all of the Scottish Government's work to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings under one long-term programme. Social landlords have already made encouraging progress on energy efficiency, but in providing housing for some of our more vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens, it is only right that the social housing sector should go further and faster on this path.
In this consultation we are asking for your views on proposals for new milestones for the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing. No doubt these will be challenging, but it is a challenge we should embrace.
I would like to thank the landlords and other stakeholders who helped to develop these proposals, and I look forward to continued positive engagement with the sector, and hearing your views, on the important issues in this consultation.
Kevin Stewart MSP
Minister for Housing and Local Government
1. This consultation seeks views on the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing post-2020 (EESSH2). Through the work of the EESSH Review, a new milestone has been agreed for consultation, proposing to maximise the number of homes in the social rented sector attaining Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Energy Efficiency (EE) Rating B (hereafter referred as EPC B) by 2032.
2. This will be supported by: a formal opportunity for review proposed for 2025 to assess progress and consider the introduction of air quality and environmental impact elements to the 2032 milestone; and a minimum standard that no social housing should fall below EPC D. A longer term vision is also proposed for 2040, whereby poor energy efficiency has been removed as a driver for fuel poverty and all social housing is carbon-neutral as far as reasonably practical.