Renewable and zero emissions heating systems in affordable housing projects: evaluation

An evaluation of renewable and zero emissions heating systems in 21 Scottish affordable housing projects. This study assesses the estimated, actual, and counterfactual costs of the projects’ heating systems and determines the drivers behind decision making.


1. Within Section 7 of the Scottish non-domestic Building standards, Aspect Silver level 3 is met if 'at least 5% of the dwelling or domestic building's annual energy demand for water heating should be from: heat recovery and/or renewable sources with little or no associated fuel costs … that are allocated for water heating.'

2. The PassivHaus approach is a design standard for new build homes, whereby the energy demand is minimised through specification of building fabric with very high u-values and airtightness.

3. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to internet-connected devices that are able to exchange data with each other – for example, a phone connected to a smart thermostat which automatically controls a domestic heating system. LoRaWan® is a low power and wide area network protocol designed to enable wirelessly connecting 'things' to the internet.

4. As in section 4 of this report, 'large' projects are those with more than 20 homes, and 'urban' and 'rural' definitions are as per the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification. Costs for the single project, which is both large and rural, inform the large/urban classification as the project is the largest within the study and evidently encountered significant economies of scale for its heating systems.



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