Publication - Factsheet

Energy Efficient Scotland frequently asked questions: private rented sector

Answers to frequently asked questions concerning Energy Efficient Scotland's impact on the private rented sector.

2 May 2018
Energy Efficient Scotland frequently asked questions: private rented sector
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update April 2020: The Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property (Scotland) Regulations 2020 were due to come into force on 1 April 2020. However the decision has been made not to launch these regulations at this time because of the COVID-19 crisis. This is to reduce the burden on local authorities, who are focussing on frontline emergency responses, and to put the safety of tenants and workers at the forefront. We do not want to put pressure on landlords to try to undertake works in their properties at this time, when medical and government advice continues to mandate physical distancing measures. The work on improving energy efficiency in private rented housing will resume once the current COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.

Are energy efficiency standards being introduced for privately rented properties in Scotland?

Yes. From 1 October 2020, any new tenancy will require the property to have an EPC of at least band E. By 31 March 2022, all properties will need to have at least EPC band E.

From 1 April 2022, any new tenancy will require the property to have an EPC of at least band D.

By 31 March 2025, all properties will need to have at least EPC band D.

Regulations to set these standards will come in to force on 1 April 2020. 

Will the standards be increased again?

As part of Energy Efficiency Scotland, we consulted on proposals for privately rented homes to reach EPC band C by 2030, where technically feasible and cost effective to do so. The results of that consultation can be found at Energy Efficient Scotland Consultation: Making our homes and buildings warmer, greener and more efficient. Analysis of the consultation.  

Will standards apply to all properties?

Standards will apply to the majority of houses in the private rented sector. The regulations however allow for some situations where a lower level of energy improvement are acceptable, for example due to legal, technical or cost reasons. The details of these exemptions are set out in the regulations.

How will I know what to do?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are currently used to assess and assign energy efficiency ratings, and they are valid for 10 years. Rated on a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient, and calculated using information such as the size, layout, insulation and ventilation of dwellings, EPCs provide information on the energy efficiency of your building and recommendations on improvement measures. These measures could include, for example, loft insulation, efficient heating systems or solid wall insulation.

Home Energy Scotland offers free and impartial advice, adapted to your needs, on installing energy efficiency measures as well as renewable energy technologies. You can also undergo an energy check, operated by the Energy Saving Trust.

How do I get an EPC?

For homes sold or let after 4 January 2009, your property should already have an EPC, which can be found at

A list of approved EPC assessors and their contact details can be accessed here.

How much will it cost to bring my property up to standard?

Costs for home improvements depend on many variables, including the dwelling's specifics, starting point and needs. Home Energy Scotland can provide free, impartial advice tailored to your situation, along with an estimation of costs.

What support is available to help me improve my property?

As a landlord, you are responsible for making improvements to your property. However the Scottish Government supports a number of landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties through interest-free loans and cashback grants. Eligibility requirements can be accessed on the website of the Energy Saving Trust.

What happens if I don't get the works done?

We consulted on the proposal that local authorities would issue civil fines to landlords who did not comply with the requirements.

We will be working with local authorities to explore how this will work in more detail, and will confirm penalties as part of draft regulations in 2019.

Why is the Scottish Government setting standards for the private rented sector?

The Scottish Government has published its routemap for Energy Efficient Scotland (on the 2nd May) which sets out our aim to make all homes and buildings warmer, greener and more efficient. To achieve this goal, all buildings in Scotland will need to meet minimum energy efficiency targets and to reach at the EPC of least band C by 2040, where technically feasible and cost-effective.

We want to ensure that tenants are living in homes which are warmer and more affordable to heat. So we are bringing forward regulations to ensure that the least efficient properties are improved, and setting a clear trajectory for the sector in line with overall ambitions of Energy Efficient Scotland.



Phone: 0131 244 4000

Scottish Government
Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU