Energy Efficient Scotland consultation: Making our homes and buildings warmer, greener and more efficient

This consultation runs in conjunction with the Energy Efficient Scotland route map and asks for views on proposals on standard setting for domestic and non-domestic properties, access to EPC data, and on legislation.

Potential Legislative Provision To Support The Programme

74. We recognise that for a programme as ambitious as Energy Efficient Scotland, it will be necessary to review our existing legislation and to consider what new powers or duties may be needed to underpin the Programme. The Route Map sets out that, as a minimum, we are considering the need for legislation to create a statutory duty for local authorities to develop Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies ( LHEES) and for regulation of district heating. We recognise that other new or revised powers or duties may be needed to ensure delivery and funding across all strands of the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme over its 20 year lifetime, and are inviting comment within this consultation on what these may be.

75. Our targets of removing poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty will be achieved via the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme. However, it is a Fuel Poverty Bill, due to be introduced to Parliament in June 2018, which will set out the new statutory target: to eradicate fuel poverty by 2040. This Bill will also require that we report to Parliament every four years to review progress to date and set out delivery plans for the next four years (as previously committed to under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001).

76. The draft Fuel Poverty Strategy will set three indicators to measure progress against this target:

  • the removal of poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty;
  • the reduction of the overall fuel poverty rate to less than 10% by 2040; and
  • ensuring that the median household fuel poverty gap is no more than £250.

Our proposed non-statutory stretch targets for fuel poor homes put forward in this consultation support these aims.

77. The focus of a Fuel Poverty Bill will be on fuel poverty provisions only. However, stakeholders told us in our high-level scoping SEEP consultation during 2017 that there could also be an important role for regulation and standards, supported by legislation. We have committed to develop, if appropriate, a wider Energy Efficient Scotland Bill for later in this Parliament, and this would be the vehicle for any further legislative changes needed to support the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme, beyond the fuel poverty provisions contained in a Fuel Poverty Bill. We are now asking stakeholders what legislation might be needed more widely, that could be included within an Energy Efficient Scotland Bill. If it is considered that an Energy Efficient Scotland Bill is needed to implement the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme, the contents of the Bill will be informed by the feedback received from this consultation.

Existing Legislation

78. There is already a wide range of legislation which gives powers and duties to the Scottish Government, local authorities and energy suppliers to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and reduce emissions associated with their energy and heat supply. Please see Annex 1 for a list of this legislation.

79. The Scottish Government recognises that this list of primary legislation is not exhaustive, and that there are many items of secondary legislation which derive from these Acts. In ensuring that the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme is underpinned by appropriate legislation in future, we would like stakeholders to comment on whether any changes are needed to existing legislation relating to energy efficiency and heating of buildings in Scotland, to support the Programme moving forward.

Further Legislative provision

80. In the Route Map, we have set out the various elements of the Programme. These include issues such as:

  • setting a long-term vision for the Programme
  • setting a Long-Term Standard for improvement of energy performance of domestic and non-domestic buildings
  • requiring improvement in the energy efficiency of buildings to meet required standards
  • amendments to an assessment process, including showing what is technically feasible and cost-effective
  • making an offer of support to building owners and tenants to meet these standards
  • requiring local authorities to develop Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies to determine objectives and design delivery programmes, for the improvement of energy efficiency and decarbonisation of heat supply in buildings, to help building owners meet these standards
  • giving local authorities powers to regulate the development of district heating in their areas, including powers to consent development, and powers to require public bodies to provide information regarding their heat supply with a view to connecting to district heating networks
  • ensuring that consumers are protected in the installation of energy efficiency measures to meet Programme standards, or when connecting to district heating [14]
  • actions to develop and support the supply chain
  • monitoring and evaluation of the Programme

In order to support all of these elements of the Programme, we are currently considering whether legal provision would be needed for:

  • New or amended powers enabling Ministers to set a Long-Term Standard(s) for improved energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation of all types of buildings, including potential to review this standard, and associated powers for assessment, monitoring and review of the Programme, and enforcement of standards, if and when needed;
  • New duties on local authorities to prepare Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies, setting out how they will deliver the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme over its 20 year period (subject of separate consultations);
  • New powers and duties to regulate district heating (including requirements for licensing of district heating operators, and consenting of district heating projects) (subject of separate consultations).

These are the initial areas where we think that further investigation should focus on the need for further provision, if at all. However, we recognise that there may be other areas where legal provision could be needed to support the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme and we would like stakeholders to comment on these issues.

Consultation Questions

29. What are your views on the implementation and enforcement of existing legislation relating to energy efficiency and heating of buildings in Scotland?

30. What changes may be needed (if any) to this existing legislation to ensure that the Scottish Government, local authorities, and any other relevant bodies or persons, have the powers and duties necessary to support the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme?

31. What other elements of the Programme may require new or amended legislation to enable the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme to operate?

32. Which organisation(s) should be responsible for delivering any new legal requirements?


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