With the publication of Energy Efficient Scotland: A Route Map in May 2018, the Scottish Government set out its ambitious programme to reduce energy demand, to contribute to its climate change objectives whilst continuing to assist tackling fuel poverty and ensuring Scotland is a good place to do business. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) will be an intrinsic component within the Energy Efficient Scotland (EES) Route Map.
In January 2017, the Scottish Government published a series of consultations to inform its policy decisions on the overall design and operation of Energy Efficient Scotland (previously called Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme). During pre-consultation workshops for the consultation on SEEP, stakeholders raised a range of issues and challenges that need to be considered as the programme is developed. This included concerns around the application, limitations and quality of EPC-based building assessments for broader purposes such as setting standards. EPCs and their underlying assessment methodologies are used to underpin Scottish Government actions to improve properties. A robust assessment of the issues raised around EPCs is needed to ensure these issues are investigated, responded to and, where appropriate, addressed through further review.
In December 2017, the Scottish Government commissioned a strategic examination of EPCs and their underlying calculation methodology to support the development of EES, and specifically:
- to examine the concerns raised in terms of using EPC-based building assessments to underpin the Scottish Government's actions to improve the energy performance of buildings;
- to determine if these concerns merited a material change to the EPC-based building assessment methodologies;
- to assess the changes that could be made to the EPC-based building assessment methodologies to address these concerns;
- to evaluate the impact of the proposed changes on the information reported on domestic and non-domestic EPC certificates;
- to consider the potential cost and time implications for implementing the proposed changes; and,
- to determine the changes that could be implemented within the scope and competency of the currently defined for the role of EPC assessor.
The starting point for this examination was the responses to three public consultation exercises carried out by the Scottish Government published in November 2017: the generalised summaries published by the Scottish Government in November 2017, and the actual individual public responses received via the three separate public consultation exercises, that is,
- the 98 published responses to the consultation on Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) (as it was then referred, now EES);
- the 84 published responses to the consultation on Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies, and Regulation of District Heating (LHEES); and,
- the 161 published responses to the consultation on Energy Efficiency and Condition Standards in Private Rented Housing (PRS).