Reducing emissions from our buildings is one of the most challenging and important actions we can take to help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change. Scotland’s homes and workplaces must transform so they are more comfortable, efficient, and green.
Scotland has legally binding targets, agreed by all parties in the Scottish Parliament, to achieve “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, with interim targets for a 75% reduction by 2030, and 90% by 2040. Given our homes and workplaces account for around a fifth of Scotland’s total greenhouse gas emissions, improving the energy performance of our homes and buildings is a key step on our net zero journey. Our Heat in Buildings Strategy set out our plans to reform domestic EPCs, as advised by the Climate Change Committee.
We need to prioritise improvements to the fabric of our homes to accelerate our efforts and deliver a highly significant reduction in our demand for energy as a society. Making our homes more energy efficient will bring advantages in addition to reducing emissions. Better insulation and other energy efficiency measures make our homes more comfortable and easier to heat, helping to reduce the amount we spend on energy. It will also help reduce number of people living in fuel poverty.
However, fabric improvements alone will not allow us to reach net zero emissions from our buildings. It is also important that we transition from direct emissions heating systems, like gas and oil boilers, to zero direct emissions heating systems, like heat pumps and heat networks. Together, this will reduce the amount of energy Scotland’s buildings use for heating and ensure that they do not directly contribute to climate change.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are an important source of information for current and potential occupiers. They are one of the few pieces of information householders and building owners receive that helps them understand the performance of their building. However, the metrics and ratings EPCs currently use are not appropriate to drive the improvements that we need in the fabric of our homes and to move to zero direct emissions heating systems in our homes and buildings.
As such, this consultation seeks views on EPC reform. The proposals include plans to reform domestic and non-domestic EPC metrics, the purpose and validity period of EPCs, the EPC format, and quality assurance procedures.
As a result of these proposals, EPCs would provide relevant and holistic information to interested parties to help them make informed purchase, rental and retrofit decisions. Ensuring EPCs show the right information is essential to inform decisions that support the improvement of our homes and buildings towards net zero.
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback