Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing: tenants' guide

The Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) aims to improve the energy efficiency of social housing in Scotland. The tenants' guide outlines what landlords might do to achieve the new standard and how tenants can play their part.

Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) Tenants' Guide

Example property - mid floor flat, cavity wall before external insulation installed. EPC- EE rating 63 (image courtesy of IRT Surveys)

Example property - mid floor flat, cavity wall before external insulation installed. EPC-EE rating 63 (image courtesy of IRT Surveys)

Example property - mid floor flat, cavity wall after external insulation installed. EPC- EE rating 76 (image courtesy of IRT Surveys)

Example property - mid floor flat, cavity wall after external insulation installed. EPC-EE rating 76 (image courtesy of IRT Surveys)

In the 'before' image the red and yellow colours indicate heat loss. In the 'after' image the green colour indicates the heat loss is no longer a feature.

What is the EESSH?

The EESSH sets the minimum energy efficiency standard for social housing. It has been developed by the Scottish Government following consultation with social landlords and tenants. Landlords must ensure that all social housing meets this new standard by December 2020.

The new standard is based on minimum energy efficiency ( EE) ratings. These are found on Energy Performance Certificates ( EPCs). If you are unfamiliar with EPCs, you will find this example useful. The ratings which social homes will be expected to meet are shown in the table below. The rating which applies to your home will depend on the type of fuel you use to heat your home.

EE Rating (SAP 2009)
Dwelling type Gas Electric
Flats 69 65
Four-in-a-block 65 65
Houses 69 65
Detached 60 60
Other fuels - SHQS requirements.

For example, if your home is a flat heated by a gas boiler then it will be expected to achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of 69 by 2020.

Why do we need the EESSH?

The Scottish Government recognises that all tenants want to live in good quality, warm, low carbon homes. Improved energy efficiency has a major part to play in achieving this goal. The EESSH is part of the wider Sustainable Housing Strategy published earlier this year which also commits to develop proposals for minimum energy efficiency standards in private sector houses. The new standard is also intended to help meet Scotland's Climate Change targets and to help protect tenants from the impacts of fuel poverty. A background document explaining EESSH can be downloaded here.

What about the Scottish Housing Quality Standard ( SHQS)?

Social landlords are already working towards meeting the requirements of the Scottish Housing Quality Standard ( SHQS). This means that many properties will already be, or be well on the way, to meeting the requirements of the EESSH.

How will tenants benefit from EESSH?

EESSH should help make your home warmer and make heating your home more affordable. Estimates suggest that this could mean a reduction in energy costs for tenants across Scotland in the region of £127m each year. It will also mean less CO2 emissions that will help to contribute toward dealing with climate change.

How will the EESSH be paid for?

A wide range of funding is available for landlords to help to pay for energy efficiency measures to meet the EESSH. More detail on these is available in the funding area of the EESSH website. Whilst it is at the discretion of social landlords to set rent levels, it is not envisaged that the implementation of EESSH will result in increased rents. It is however recognised that the wider context of the UK Government's welfare changes and their possible impact on rents in the social housing sector poses a challenge for social landlords.

What does my landlord need to do now?

A range of energy efficiency measures which your landlord may consider for installation in your home are outlined in the diagram below. It provides a clear illustration of how these measures can result in potential energy and carbon savings. It is not a prescriptive list and it is for landlords to decide on the right measures for each property. The installation of these or other energy efficiency measures should result in improved energy efficiency and lessen carbon emission levels in your home.

This diagram shows potential energy and carbon savings per year attributable to each measure, these are based on a 3 bed semi-detached home:

Diagram shows the potential enegry and carbon savings

  1. Loft insulation top-up
    (energy - 590 kWh, carbon - 110kg)
  2. Double/secondary glazing
    (energy - 3,530 kWh, carbon - 650kg)
  3. External wall insulation
    energy - 10,530 kWh, carbon - 1,900kg)
  4. Heating controls
    (energy - 1,540 kWh, carbon - 280kg)
  5. Storage heaters
    (energy - 1,990 kWh, carbon - 1,030kg)
  6. Floor insulation
    (energy - 1,310 kWh, carbon - 240kg)
  7. Compact fluorescent lighting - per bulb
    (energy - 20 kWh, carbon - 10kg)
  8. Condensing boilers
    (energy - 6,660 kWh, carbon - 1,200kg)

You will find details of average cash savings which can be achieved by installing some of these measures on the Greener Scotland website.

What do I need to do now?

Your landlord will contact you before any action is taken to improve the energy efficiency of your home. You may also already have an EPC and this can be a good place to start to understand what work may be needed for your home.

It is important that you support your landlord's efforts to improve your home. This may mean a short period of inconvenience to you if your landlord needs to do any work to your home.

The way you choose to manage your energy use will also impact on the achievable energy savings. By making simple changes to the way you behave in your home you can make a big impact on energy use. You can make a difference by:

  • turning down the thermostat to between 18 and 21 degrees;
  • reducing the hours your heating is on;
  • turning down your hot water thermostat to a maximum of 60 degrees;
  • buying energy efficient appliances such as light bulbs, TVs and other products when they need to be replaced;
  • washing clothes at low temperatures;
  • reducing, reusing and recycling.

Where can I get further information about the EESSH and energy efficiency?

If you wish to discuss any aspects of the EESSH you should first contact your landlord through the usual channels by telephone, email or in writing.You can access further advice by calling the Greener Scotland Advice line 0808 808 2442 or visiting


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