This report has presented a social evaluation of the Energy Efficient Scotland Phase 2 pilots, which took place between September 2017 and March 2019. The Phase 2 pilots form a part of the development of broader Energy Efficient Scotland programme; they focused on: hard-to-treat buildings; strategies for engaging the self-funded market; innovative technologies; and area-based approaches. This evaluation draws on evidence from interviews conducted with all of the teams taking part in the nine Phase 2 pilots. The interviews explored organisational aspects of the pilots, including: pilot content; partnership working and procurement; skills and resources for delivery; and perceptions of the broader Energy Efficient Scotland programme.
The Phase 2 pilots delivered positive outcomes, including: leveraging additional funding; providing foundations for further work; and there was anecdotal evidence of energy and cost savings. The pilots also allowed local authorities and project partners to begin exploring the extension of their existing roles, for example, as heat network owners and energy suppliers.
The pilots that sought to tackle hard-to-treat building and those with a combination of public and private sector occupants experienced significant delays and significant funding shortfalls. Multiple funding sources were used to complete the proposed works; however, securing match funding could contribute to significant project delays. In addition, distinct funding sources were needed for different aspects of the work; this resulted in complex project management and reporting requirements, and should be avoided to support future, holistic retrofitting. Working on whole-building retrofit where there are multiple owners and occupiers (for example, a tenement building), and multiple funding sources, was a highly complex and time consuming task. Engaging with private householders and businesses will require long-term, repeated interaction. There were more significant challenges in procuring contractors to complete capital works, these included: identifying contractors with suitable expertise for hard-to-treat buildings; a lack of capacity amongst smaller contractors to engage in the pilots at short notice; communication with new contractors.
- Longer timeframes and a clear long-term funding trajectory will be needed to support holistic retrofitting of complex hard-to-treat buildings
- Scottish Government need to explore how to streamline existing funding sources to support holistic, area-based retrofitting and heat decarbonisation.
- Local authorities will require further support if, through Energy Efficient Scotland, their roles extend as network owners and suppliers, for example in developing heat supply agreements
- Scottish Government must provide clarity and certainty in the funding and roll-out of Energy Efficient Scotland, to support readiness amongst supply chains.
- Energy Efficient Scotland funding needs to reflect the long-term interaction needed to support private householders and businesses, and support the development of skills for this.
- There needs to be a clear structure to support information sharing and subsequent capacity building amongst local authorities and project partners.