Publication - Impact assessment

Energy Efficient Scotland: strategic environmental assessment

Published: 2 May 2018
Directorate:
Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Part of:
Energy
ISBN:
9781788518512

This Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) investigates the likely significant effects on the environment by the implementation of the Energy Efficient Scotland programme.

Energy Efficient Scotland: strategic environmental assessment
Appendix D - Assessment Tables for Energy Efficient Scotland – requirements for Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies and a new approach to district heating

Appendix D - Assessment Tables for Energy Efficient Scotland – requirements for Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies and a new approach to district heating

This Appendix contains the assessment tables developed for each sector affected by the proposed introduction of requirements for Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies and a new approach to district heating

These tables set out the potential for positive and negative impacts across a range of environmental receptors for each proposed policy, policy development milestone, and proposal which form a part of the long term standard.

The environmental effects are presented in two formats within the tables:

A narrative describing the potential for environmental environment effects – the 'Likely Environmental Effects' narrative sections broadly discuss the likely primary environmental impacts associated with the policy or proposal, whilst also identifying the potential for secondary or indirect impacts.

Colour-coded gradings assigned to the individual environmental topic areas scoped into the assessment – the gradings reflect the likely primary impacts associated with the implementation of the policy/proposal against each environmental topic.

While this narrative also discusses the potential for secondary or indirect impacts, these effects have only been reflected in the gradings where it is considered that no mitigation is currently in place, and where these impacts are likely to be significant. This approach has been taken to enable the reader to readily identify the primary significant impacts associated with each policy and proposal.

The tables also outline any assumptions made in undertaking the assessment and where relevant, refer to previous SEA work that informed the assessment.

The gradings used are:

+

Potential for positive environmental effects

-

Potential for negative environmental effects

+/-

Potential for mixed environmental effects

0

Potential for environmental effects has not been identified

Policies and Proposals

Biodiversity

Population and Human Health

Soil

Water

Landscape

Air

Climatic Factors

Cultural heritage

Material Assets

Likely Environmental Effects

All properties

Local authorities be given a statutory duty to prepare Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies to guide investment in local delivery programmes, to help building owners meet the standards, alongside national programmes

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+

0

0

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+

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This proposal seeks the give all local authorities across Scotland a statutory duty to prepare a LHEES. This will guide investment decisions, delivery programmes and will sit alongside work being carried out at a national level. The proposal builds on pilot work carried out in a number of local authorities, and also takes into account recent consultation on the nature of LHEES during 2017-18, and on which final decisions have not yet been taken.

A requirement to create a LHEES and deliver its contents will result in the speed of implementation of energy efficiency measures within the control of the public sector being accelerated. It will also create a common approach across Scotland which will ensure wide spread take up of the Scottish Government's objective to improve energy efficiency across the country. This will speed the gradual improvement in the energy efficiency across Scotland, particularly focused on larger projects, individual properties being dealt with through other aspects of the Programme. This should result in a reduction in GHG emissions with secondary benefits for other associated topics through improved human health, air quality, and climatic factors. There is potential for further improvements in air quality associated with the reduction in energy demand from traditional and finite fossil fuel sources.

The roll out of LHEES is likely to have a mixed impact on material assets affected by the strategies. The installation of energy efficiency measures is recognised as having an impact on some biodiversity, specifically those using roofs and wall cavities as nest sites. Licensing arrangements are already in place to protect these species and act as a deterrent to halt inappropriate actions which would adversely impact these species. As a result it is unlikely that the introduction of new or additional energy efficiency measures would have a significant effect on these species. Further, at a local scale, the installation of energy efficiency measures may have impacts associated with nuisance, including noise, dust, and visual. However these are likely to be short term in nature, and can be mitigated with careful use of construction management planning and dialogue with neighbours. They may also have localised visual impacts, which have the potential to have a mixed impact and will require local assessment to ensure use of measures is appropriate for the surroundings.

Similarly, provisions within regulations and guidance should recognise and respond to give assurance that interventions to buildings in general and particularly those of cultural significance and traditional buildings generally are only specified and undertaken after full consideration of the likely impact on the building.

Assumptions:

That lessons from the LHEES pilots will provide a backdrop to this proposal

That local authorities will be supported in their efforts to produce and implement LHEES

Previous SEA work:

Joint SEA of the Draft Climate Change Plan: The Draft Third Report on Policies and Proposals 2017-2032 and Draft Scottish Energy Strategy: The Future of Energy in Scotland available at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/01/9030

Give 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

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+

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0

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This proposal seeks to create a regulatory system to promote and control district heating across Scotland. This is intended to escalate the speed of installation of such schemes, and promote their use in new and existing development. The proposal builds on consultation work already undertaken regarding district heating carried out in 2017-18, and on which final decisions have not yet been taken.

The creation of a regime to promote and control the installation of district heating schemes may result in a speeding up of such heating schemes in new and existing developments, and will allow a common approach to their regulation. This may widen the appeal of such schemes and shows a commitment on the part of the Scottish Government to their proper regulation and control, thus building confidence in this section of the energy efficiency market.

Use of low or zero emission sources of heat should result in a reduction in GHG emissions with secondary benefits for other associated topics through improved human health, air quality, and climatic factors. There is potential for improvements in air quality associated with the reduction in energy demand from traditional and finite fossil fuel sources.

The roll out of district heating regulations is likely to have a mixed impact on biodiversity. Whilst there are likely to be positive impacts associated with GHG emission reductions, the use of certain district heating technologies, such as biomass may have mixed impacts, as sourcing and burning feedstocks will need to be matched with a sustainable supply.

Mixed impacts may also affect material assets. The installation of district heating measures may require physical works on site, with potential for associated impacts associated with nuisance, including noise, dust, and visual. However these are likely to be short term in nature, and can be mitigated with careful use of construction management planning and dialogue with neighbours.

At a local level, the creation of district heating scheme may require short term disturbance as a result of infrastructure installation. This may have mixed impact on local soil conditions, and a local solution will be required depending on the nature of the site.

The operation of district heating schemes may use water as a resource and as such may have mixed impact. The recognition of this at a localised scale will require the use of environmental management plans, or similar, to assess, in detail, the impact. This will require to be done at project level.

Assumptions:

That lessons from the District Heating consultation recently undertaken will provide a backdrop to this proposal

That the public sector continue to be supported in their efforts to manage district heating

Previous SEA work:

Joint SEA of the Draft Climate Change Plan: The Draft Third Report on Policies and Proposals 2017-2032 and Draft Scottish Energy Strategy: The Future of Energy in Scotland available at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/01/9030

Summary of overall effects

The impact of regulations to require the role out of LHEES is likely to have broadly positive with an acceleration of improvement in energy efficiency across Scotland, with particular focus likely on larger projects. This should result in a reduction in GHG emissions( climatic factors) with secondary benefits through improved human health, and air quality.

The roll out of LHEES is likely to have a mixed impact on material assets affected by the strategies and the installation of energy efficiency measures is recognised as having an impact on some biodiversity, Further, at a local scale, the installation works may have impacts associated with nuisance, including noise, dust, and visual impact. However these are likely to be short term in nature, and can be mitigated with careful use of construction management planning. Similarly, provisions within regulations and guidance should recognise and respond to give assurance that interventions to buildings in general and particularly those of cultural significance and traditional buildings generally are only specified and undertaken after full consideration of the likely impact on the building.

There is potential for broadly positive environmental effects from the creation of a regulation to manage district heating across Scotland. In particular, the creation of a regulatory system and the resulting growth in installation of district heating across new and existing developments in Scotland will reduce reliance on the existing heating supply network which relies on diminishing fossil fuels. Further, this will contribute to further reductions in GHG emissions ( climatic factors) by installation of improved energy efficient heating systems. Appropriate siting of district heating systems could have local environmental benefits where heat is supplied from a low or zero emission source that replaces fossil fuel generation, with the potential to improve air quality.

The proposal aims to grow this part of the energy generating supply chain, reducing reliance on centralised systems. thus having a likely beneficial impact ( climatic factors, air, population health). There is also potential for further benefits in improving flexibility of supply through district heating ( material assets, population and health).

There is potential for adverse effects associated with some aspects of the proposal, particularly those associated with development at a local scale. For example, the installation of district heating network infrastructure such as pipes could result in environmental effects, including impacts to biodiversity, soil, and material assets from construction activities and siting of developments.

The long term operation of district heating schemes, at a local level, may also have a mixed impact. Supply of sustainable materials to be used in biomass systems may have negative impacts, and must be sourced sustainably. This may also be the case with those systems using water as an operating resource. Specific environmental effects will be considered through the planning process, Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA) and Habitats Regulations Appraisal ( HRA) and on a site by site basis, the use of appropriate construction management measures such as Environmental Management Plans.


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