Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Review - Measures and Finance subgroup minutes: February 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the subgroup on 16 February 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Callum Neil, Scottish Government
  • Ciara O’Connor, Scottish Government
  • David Bookbinder, GWSF
  • Ken Gibb, University of Glasgow
  • Mark McArthur, Energy Savings Trust
  • Nick Clark, Ore Valley Housing Association
  • Peter O’Donnell, Hebridean Housing Association
  • Richard Orr, River Clyde Homes
  • Sherina Peak, ALACHO
  • Shona Mitchell, SFHA
  • Simon Roberts, Scottish Government


  • Jon Turner, Link Group Ltd

Items and actions

  • SG to amend membership and send remit paper to the Group. Due February 2023
  • SG to share metric options paper once finalised. Due March 2023

Welcome and introductions

List of attendees available.

Ciara O’Connor welcomed everyone and thanked all for agreeing to be part of the EESSH2 review subgroup on Measures and Finance.

Review of subgroup remit

Members of the subgroup were invited to ask any questions or provide any thoughts on the subgroup remit circulated prior to the meeting. The main outcome from the subgroup will be to recommend options for guidance for landlords to identify the most cost effect measures for their housing stock and routes to funding and financing options.

The group were content with the remit.

Membership to be updated and remit to circulated via objective connect.

Update on EESSH2 review

Ciara O’Connor provided an update the progress so far of the review and the work of the other 3 subgroups. 

Subgroup 1 (Just transition, metric and heating system) is currently finalising a metric options paper, which will then be shared with this subgroup in due course. Subgroup 1 is next meeting on 21 February 2023 to discuss the options paper.

There is a piece of research working alongside Subgroup 3 (fabric and hard to treat), on identifying social housing archetypes. It is then proposed that a set of pattern book solutions will be built up for the archetypes.

Subgroup 4 (Gypsy / traveller sites) is looking at how to include gypsy traveller sites within the new standard. 

Reflections from the subgroup on this:

  • consideration of what cost effectiveness looks like is required
  • recognise caution with archetype approach – EESSH2 had an element of discretion, and something similar needed 
  • is there an opportunity to estimate the costs required for each archetype to meet the standard? If landlords know the mix of their stock, then they could get an overview of the cost to meet the standard
  • do we know how landlords behave in response to meeting the standard?
  • need to consider how to get private owners on the journey and what finance options would be available to them, in the case of mixed tenure
  • we need to ensure EESSH ties in with other SG strategies, e.g., LHEES and EPC regulations
  • there are differences in economies of scale and access to funding for islands and rural areas, so effort is required to ensure they are not disadvantaged
  • a target range for a new standard could be appropriate to enable landlords with less resource to reach a minimum standard, giving landlords the option to reach a higher standard
  • some landlords will face restrictions on borrowing due to covenants with existing lenders, Shona Mitchell offered to speak about this at a future meeting
  • suggestion that carbon credits considered, Richard Orr offered to share some material on this
  • costs of new heating system for the tenant needs to be considered – Peter O’Donnell noted instances of tenants switching off heat pumps and replacing with plug in heaters due to cost of living crisis

SG are working with colleagues to address funding issues.

Update on the Green Heat Finance Taskforce

Ciara O’Connor gave an update on the Green Heat Finance Taskforce (GHFT):

  • includes a dedicated workstream on social housing
  • met in September, with a workshop planned for May 2023 – any subgroup members willing to speak about their projects would be welcomed
  • looking at how private finance can support the transition to net zero, as public money will not be enough                                 

Members of the subgroup noted the following:

  • carbon credit funding is something that has been looked in the past
  • landlords have had issues with interest free loans
  • collaboration between landlords would ensure better value in procurement

Any other business

For discussion at the next meeting – issues and barriers faced by landlords with respect to funding. 

The next meeting is to be scheduled for March 2023.

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