Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Review - Fabric and Hard to Treat subgroup minutes: 07 February 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the subgroup on 07 February 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Callum Neil, Scottish Government
  • Grant Gilfillan, Shetland Council
  • Euan Lochhead, Changeworks
  • Joachim Dias, Element Energy
  • John Devine, ng Homes
  • Lori McElroy, University of Strathclyde
  • Moses Jenkins, Historic Environment Scotland
  • Neil Ritchie, Scottish Government
  • Paul Leask, Hjaltland Housing Association
  • Sean Smith, University of Edinburgh
  • Simon Roberts, Scottish Government
  • Tim Sharpe, University of Strathclyde


  • Ciara O’Connor, Scottish Government
  • Emily Dorrian, West Dunbartonshire Council
  • Graeme Bruce, Link Group Ltd
  • Sherina Peak, ALACHO

Items and actions

  • members of the subgroup to consider if kWh/m2/year would be the most appropriate metric for promoting fabric first – for discussion at next meeting. Due February 2023
  • members of the subgroup to consider if there are properties that should be exempt from a kWh/m2/year target. Due February 2023
  • SG to share Hjaltland HA slides from the meeting. Due February 2023

Welcome and minutes from last meeting

List of attendees available.

Simon Roberts welcomed everyone and confirmed the members were content from the minutes of the last meeting. Noted apologies from Ciara O’Connor, Emily Dorrian and Graeme Bruce.

Update on social housing archetype research – Element Energy

Joachim Dias, Element Energy gave an update on the research being carried out via ClimateXChange on identifying social housing archetypes.

Points raised following the presentation:

  • categorising wall types into ‘cavity’ and ‘non-cavity’ could be an oversimplification due to non-cavity walls being of different construction types
  • wall construction should be primary determinant on archetype
  • a room in roof could be considered in an annex, rather than including in the list of archetypes
  • Euan Lochhead to share wall types parameters with Element Energy

Element Energy to consider the above comments in their research.

Sean Smith noted that in general across the Scottish Government that wording needs to be tightened on heat pumps being an option and not a solution for decarbonising heat for all housing, on the basis that there are other solutions. If the public regularly hear that they are described as a solution without the underpinning context, details and variables, issues for flats, certain build type and fabric of homes, then it can be confusing for them and can have a negative impact on other alternative options to heat pumps.

Hjaltland housing association presentation

Paul Leask provided a presentation on the work of Hjaltland Housing Association decarbonising their homes and the use of metrics to evaluate their performance. The slides will be shared on objective connect.

Comments raised from the subgroup:

  • SAP is not a predictive tool but there is a lack of alternatives 

Discussion on metric options

Subgroup 1 (Just Transition, Metric and Heating System) has produced a draft metric options paper, which will be shared following the next meeting of subgroup 1.

SR called on the group to consider if kWh/m2/year would be the most appropriate metric for promoting fabric first, and if we would need any types of property to be exempt – for discussion at the next meeting.

It is important to consider the cost for the tenants of the zero emissions heating system.

Considerations and next steps

The next meeting will focus on any areas of the subgroup remit that still need to be addressed, particularly hard to treat.

Any other business

The next meeting is to be scheduled for February/March 2023. 

Back to top