1. Scottish Ministers announced in June 2015 that they would take long-term action to reduce building energy demand and decarbonise the heat supply, designating energy efficiency as a National Infrastructure Priority. Energy Efficient Scotland is the culmination of this thinking. This Programme will improve energy efficiency and promote low carbon heating in Scotland’s homes and buildings. By making improvements to our homes, business premises and public buildings, we can use less energy. This can help to tackle fuel poverty, help businesses to be more competitive and release savings in the public sector for front line services.
2. This consultation asks for views on proposals, access to EPC data, and on legislation to help improve the energy efficiency of privately rented and owned homes as well as non-domestic buildings in Scotland. It should be read in conjunction with the Route Map for Energy Efficient Scotland which sets out our long-term ambitions to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s building stock and the actions we will take to achieve them.
Our Vision –
By 2040, our homes and buildings are warmer, greener and more efficient.
3. Once fully operational, Energy Efficient Scotland will be a whole system approach to delivering energy efficiency improvements and the provision of low carbon heat. A framework of energy efficiency standards, advice and funding will help create long-term consistency and confidence for consumers and industry, backed up by legislation where needed. Energy Efficient Scotland will help support skills and supply chains across Scotland with appropriate protections for consumers. The Programme can also deliver significant health and wellbeing benefits, particularly for those living in cold and damp homes.
4. As set out in our recent consultation on a new fuel poverty target for Scotland, we are committed to removing poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty. The Programme will be the primary mechanism by which this is achieved.
5. Energy Efficient Scotland also supports our ambitions to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% on 1990 levels by 2050. The Climate Change Plan, published in February 2018, following extensive modelling and parliamentary scrutiny, outlines the steps we will take to reduce emissions from Scotland’s buildings by 23% and 59% for domestic and non-domestic buildings by 2032 respectively, on 2015 levels. Achieving this will mean that by the middle of this century all buildings in Scotland will need to be near zero carbon where feasible.
Energy Efficient Scotland’s role in reducing energy demand and decarbonisation
6. In the initial phases of the Programme to 2025, we will focus on improving the energy performance of the fabric of buildings and on deploying low carbon heat solutions where they are a low regret option; for example in off-gas areas and district heating (where appropriate and feasible such as in heat dense areas).  Longer term, we will review the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme to respond to the UK Government’s decisions on the future of the gas grid which are expected in the mid-2020s (a reserved matter).  We intend to integrate the UK’s position for on-gas properties when it is available, to support meeting the 2032 Climate Change target.
7. This consultation is primarily focussed on our proposals to create a framework of energy efficiency standards. It builds on earlier consultations on energy efficiency and fuel poverty including, amongst others; the Consultation on Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme, Energy Efficiency and Condition Standards in the Private Rented Sector and the Fuel Poverty Strategy Consultation.
8. This consultation is seeking views on setting a Long-Term Standard for domestic buildings; phasing of private rented and owner occupied sectors towards reaching the Long-Term Domestic Standard; our proposal for setting benchmark standards for non-domestic buildings; access to EPC data; and on what legislation may be needed more widely to support the Programme.
9. We are consulting separately on proposals for new milestones for the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing ( EESSH), which can be found at: https://beta.gov.scot/ISBN/9781788518185.
10. Following the consultation we will analyse the responses received and set out the Scottish Government’s response. The feedback will inform further development of the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme and future updates of the Route Map, which we will next issue in 2019. Feedback on our proposals for the non-domestic sector will inform a future consultation due in 2019.