Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Review - Just Transition, Metric and Heating System subgroup minutes: February 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the subgroup on 21 February 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Angela Morgan, Port of Leith Housing Association
  • Bruce Cuthbertson, Tenant representative
  • Callum Neil, Scottish Government
  • Cassandra Dove, SFHA
  • Chris Morgan, John Gilbert Architects
  • Ciara O'Connor, Scottish Government
  • Duncan Smith, River Clyde Homes
  • Jackie Timmons, City of Edinburgh Council
  • Lori McElroy, University of Strathclyde
  • Paul Leask, Hjaltland Housing Association
  • Scott Restrick, Link Group Ltd
  • Simon Roberts, Scottish Government

Items and actions

  • SG to provide updates on the tenement working group and the short life working group on EPC presentation. Due March 2023
  • SG to draft proposal paper for target range and timescales for the new metric. Due March 2023


List of attendees available.

Ciara O’Connor welcomed everyone and opened for any comments on the minutes and actions of from last meeting. SG to provide update on the short life working group on EPC presentation and report of the tenement working group. Everyone content. 

Review of metric options paper

The group were asked for comments/feedback on the metric options paper circulated prior to the meeting. SG to put together a proposal on metric for the other subgroups of the review. The following points were raised from the group:

  • the four parameters from the Letter: Reform of domestic EPC rating metrics to Patrick Harvie MSP - Climate Change Committee ( seemed like a sensible approach
  • however the ‘fabric’ parameter (kWh/m2/year) would be the most useful along with installation of zero emissions heating. A backstop date for the installation of zero emissions heating would be required
  • including cost factor within the metric would be difficult as this is out with landlord control – the metric needs to measure the energy efficiency of the property as this is what they can control
  • a yes or no on zero emissions heating would be more appropriate than a ranking of the heating system. We do not need to conflate the heating system into another metric
  • kWh/m2/year already part of EPCs 
  • the fabric metric ensures that money spent on improving fabric gives a reduction in carbon emissions and fuel poverty, and improves tenant comfort
  • the ventilation issue in SAP requires rectification
  • removing energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty is part of the remit of EESSH
  • improving the fabric does not require tenants to change how they understand their homes – this is key for the first stage to reduce energy demand, followed by converting to zero emissions heating to prevent energy bills increasing
  • when calculating the energy use a nominal location basis would be required, to ensure landlords were not unfairly affected by different energy demand in different areas of the country

It was agreed by the group that the fabric efficiency (kWh/m2/year) metric along with installation of zero emissions heating systems are the most suitable parameters to use for the new standard.

It was also agreed that a target range for fabric efficiency would be the most appropriate, as it will allow landlords flexibility in their approach.

A back stop date for the installation of zero emissions heating will be required.

Next steps: how to take forward metrics options proposals

The next step will be to agree on the target range for the fabric efficiency and the timing of the target.

Comments raised by group:

  • Paul Leask noted the challenges faced by landlords in rural locations due to limited workforce and less capacity to carry out works. The current EESSH target of 2032 would not be achievable. Funding is currently more targeted to technology than fabric. There is work going on in SG to address these issues
  • could there be a phased approach to meet targets?
  • consideration needs to be given to the lifecycle of assets which have recently been installed. The value of their depreciation will need to factored in if the target date is before the end of their lifecycle. 2035 – 2040 for 80% of stock to have net zero heating
  • fabric efficiency improvements have a much longer lifespan than technology improvements
  • funding requiring PAS2035 will impact timescales, especially for rural communities as it will be harder to appoint accredited contractors – however this is not a requirement for the Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund

SG to draft proposal paper for target range and timescales for the new metric.

Any other business

The next meeting will be scheduled for March 2023.

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