Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Review - Gypsy / Traveller Sites subgroup minutes: March 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the subgroup on 02 March 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Amy Tickell, Scottish Government
  • Callum Neil, Scottish Government
  • Ciara O'Connor, Scottish Government
  • Diane Steele, Scottish Government
  • Dorothy Ogle , Scottish Government
  • Ian Dawson, Fife Council
  • John Smith, South Lanarkshire Council
  • Mandy Lee, Scottish Government
  • Nicola Lennon, Perth & Kinross Council
  • Simon Roberts, Scottish Government


  • Lori McElroy, University of Strathclyde

Items and actions

  • SG to provide update on funding of retrofit of  Gypsy/Traveller sites under the SHNZHF, including funding critera. Due April 2023
  • SG to take forward conversation on how the standard that replaces EESSH2 will apply to Gypsy/Traveller sites, and an engagement plan on this with effected LAs. Due April 2023


List of attendees available.

Ciara O’Connor welcomed everyone and introduced Amy Tickell and Mandy Lee, who were attending from a funding and fuel poverty perspective respectively. 

Review of actions from last meeting:

  • Amy Tickell advised there would be an update on the funding from the Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund (SHNZHF) early in the next financial year, including criterion scope for funding
  • SG to provide update on metrics and zero emissions heating

Zero emissions heating in gypsy/traveller amenity blocks

Simon Roberts provided an update on the Zero Emissions Heating in Gypsy/Traveller Amenity Blocks paper, which was circulated prior to the meeting. Key points from this paper:

  • important to understand the construction of the building first, how the building is used by the tenant and how the fabric can be improved and whether it is economical to improve or replace
  • identification of the zero emissions heating source would follow this

Comments from the subgroup:

  • John Smith noted that South Lanarkshire Council had explored the idea of ASHPs, however the cost and size of them were prohibitive. The low level temperature output would also not suit the needs of the tenants. High levels of insulation and infrared heating were used instead, which received good feedback from the tenants
  • Ian Dawson noted a similar approach from Fife Council

The fuel poverty advisory panel are meeting at the end of March to make recommendations on the fuel poverty strategy – an update will be available at the next meeting.

Update on metric discussions

Callum Neil gave an update on the progress made in the subgroup looking at what the new metric for EESSH will be:

  • two pronged approach with a fabric first metric (kWh/m2/year)
  • installation of zero emissions heating to be installed with a back stop date
  • the target range for the fabric metric is still be decided
  • target date for the metric and back stop date for the zero emissions heating to be agreed
  • SG are drafting a proposal paper for the target range and timescales for the new metric

It was then discussed whether gypsy/traveller sites should have a different timeline and target range in comparison to housing. The consensus from the group followed:

  • the starting point should be parity with housing, as there shouldn’t be any reason for the fabric efficiency to be any less robust
  • there should be a valid reason for not having parity
  • if a rebuild of sites is required where it is not feasible to upgrade then could there be an allowance of time for this?

Next steps

SG to think about an engagement plan for what a standard for G/T sites under the standard that replaces EESSH2 will look like, and will provide an update on funding and criteria as it develops.

A centralised source of funding would be improve efficiency for landlords as they can currently obtain funding from both the SHNZHF and Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Schemes (EES:ABS). However this would present challenges in itself given the funding is from separate pots.

Any other business

The next meeting is yet to be scheduled.

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