Developing regulation of energy efficiency of private sector housing (REEPS): modelling improvements to the target stock - Main Research Report

This report describes how the least energy efficient dwellings in the private sector were identified and how their ratings could be improved by a range of improvement measures. Modelling was used to ascertain the least cost way of reaching different standards, with findings presented on capital costs, fuel cost savings, carbon and energy reductions.

7 Appendix 1: Summary Of The Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS)

7.1 The Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS), now part of the Scottish Household Survey (SHS), is a national survey of the housing stock, the only one of its kind in Scotland[78]. It is the largest single housing research project in Scotland, and the only national survey to link the physical condition of Scotland's homes to the experiences of householders. It does this by linking information gathered during a social interview with details from a physical inspection of properties conducted by a building surveyor.

7.2 The key objectives of the survey are:

  • To monitor the physical quality of Scotland's housing stock at a national level over time.
  • To contribute to the understanding of the factors which influence the physical condition of the housing stock.
  • To provide a benchmark against which outputs from local house condition surveys and administrative data can be assessed.
  • To help guide resource allocation within the Scottish Government.
  • To explore relationships between investment and stock condition both at an individual local authority level and at the national level.
  • To provide an information resource that can be used for policy development in all areas of housing.

7.3 At the core of the SHCS is the requirement to provide robust estimates of the condition and energy efficiency of Scotland's residential housing stock. This has been constant since its inception and the survey continues to provide the national indicators for these topics.

7.4 Originally, the SHCS was conducted roughly every five years. MORI carried out the first SHCS in 1991, the second in 1996, and the third in 2002. In 2004, the Scottish House Condition Survey became a continuous survey, with fieldwork being conducted all year and every year. Between 2003 and 2006 the Office of National Statistics undertook the fieldwork. Since 2007, Ipsos MORI has carried out the survey.

7.5 In 2009, the SHCS was designated as a National Statistics product by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) demonstrating that SHCS statistics are accurate, trustworthy and compliant with the high standards required of National Statistics.

7.6 The survey has evolved since 1991, with regard to its scope, coverage and methodology. Following the review of the large scale Scottish population surveys, the SHCS was incorporated within the SHS and became one of its modules in 2012. Data from the survey is still reported under the name the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS).

7.7 The survey fieldwork aims to achieve around 3,000 paired interviews every year - a completed social survey interview with a full physical survey - nationally and 9,000 over the course of a 3 year period. The survey is based on a Scotland-wide random pre-selected sample, with no element of clustering. First, an interviewer conducts a social interview with a householder at the end of which an appointment is made for a surveyor to call to conduct a visual inspection of the property. The inspection of the property takes up to an hour, and covers both the external and internal parts of the dwelling. The data from both the social interview and the physical inspections are fully cleaned and validated.

7.8 Estimating energy use in dwellings is at the core of assessing the energy efficiency of the housing stock, the greenhouse gas emissions for which it is responsible and the risk of fuel poverty faced by residents. A number of measures produced through the SHCS are based on modelling energy use in the home:

  • Energy Efficiency Ratings (SAP, EPC band, and NHER ratings),
  • Environmental Impact Ratings,
  • Carbon emissions estimate,
  • and Fuel Poverty.


Email: Silvia Palombi

Back to top