Energy Efficient Scotland: equality impact assessment

The Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) has been undertaken to allow us to look at how this programme impacts on people and is an opportunity to promote equality.

1. Background

1.1. Scottish Ministers announced in June 2015 that they would take long-term action to reduce the energy demand of, and decarbonise the heat supply to, our domestic and non-domestic sectors, and designated energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority.

1.2. Most recently, in December 2017, Scottish Ministers published 'The future of energy in Scotland: Scottish energy strategy', a ground breaking first energy strategy for Scotland which sets out the Scottish Government's vision for the future energy system in Scotland. This strategy sets a vision to achieve by 2050 'A flourishing competitive local and national energy sector, delivering secure, affordable, clean energy for Scotland's households, communities and businesses'.

1.3. This strategy recognises that we cannot be entirely certain what our energy system will look like by 2050, so sets ambitious targets for 2030 which supports the principle of the pursuit of low or no regrets options to set us on the right path to the low carbon future:

  • The equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland's heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources;
  • An increase by 30% in the productivity of energy use across the Scottish economy

1.4. Energy Efficient Scotland (the Programme) now seeks to help tackle fuel poverty, ensure Scotland is a good place to do business, and contribute to achieving our climate change targets. The Programme will provide a coordinated approach to improve the energy efficiency of domestic and non-domestic properties. It will also continue to support the deployment of low regrets, low carbon heat options (such as heat networks or individual renewable heat technologies) for those buildings not connected to the gas grid. It will run for 20-years and brings to life one of the six energy priorities as set out by our Scottish Energy Strategy [1] .

1.5. The Programme reflects the aims of the draft Fuel Poverty Strategy and the Fuel Poverty Bill to be introduced to Parliament in June 2018. We have also taken into account recommendations made by the two independent fuel poverty working groups, Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group and the Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force. The Programme targets support Scottish Government's world-leading climate change targets which require emissions across Scotland to be reduced by 42% by 2020, and at least 80% by 2050. The Climate Change Plan [2] outlines the steps we will take to reduce emissions across the economy, including in the residential and services sectors, which will see their emissions reduced by 23% and 59% respectively by 2032 on 2015 levels. Achieving these targets will mean that to be fit for the future, Scotland's buildings will need to be near zero carbon where feasible by 2050.

1.6. The Programme is building on existing legislation and programmes that are already supporting the improvement of energy efficiency in our homes, businesses and public buildings. The work we are doing with local authorities on the development of Local Heat & Energy Efficiency strategies ( LHEES) will build on pilots and continue to offer funding to their development during the Transition phase of the Programme. LHEES will be the link between our long-term targets and national policies and delivering energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation on the ground. The Scottish Government consulted on the potential for local authorities to have a statutory duty to develop LHEES (Nov 2017-Feb 2018 [3] ) and our response to the consultation responses will be issued as part of the response to the consultation accompanying the Routemap.

1.7. To take the Programme forward, we undertook a series of consultations and stakeholder events which have shaped the development of a Routemap (published 2 May 2018) setting out the trajectory that our homes, businesses and public buildings need to take to be more energy efficient. It will guide the decisions that we will make with our partners over the next 20 years.

1.8. In conjunction with the Routemap, two consultations are now launched seeking views on proposals and legislation to help improve the energy efficiency and which are primarily focused on the long-term standard for domestic buildings, the phasing of standards for private rented, owner-occupied and social housing towards reaching the long-term standard, our intended approach to reviewing and extending the regulation of the non-domestic sector and what legislation may be needed to more widely support the Programme.


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