New house build applications and solar panels: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

You asked for the Scottish Government to confirm how many successful new build applications have been made in the last three years and of those how many chose to incorporate solar panels.


As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

The information you have requested on how many successful new build applications have been made is available from the Scottish Government Housing Statistics for Scotland, published frequently each year. We hold information on new build housing in our Quarterly and Annual publications, which can be found here:

The most recent data (including the three years requested) is available from the published Excel tables on local authority new build starts and completions that are available here within the tab called 'tsCompQtrLA' for completions.

The Excel table also has tabs detailing information for the financial and calendar years. Data for completions in the financial year can be found in tab 'tsCompFinYrLA' and tab 'tsCompCalYrLA' for the calendar year.

This published information includes figures on national level and local authority level new build starts and completions. The information covers data collected each quarter, by calendar year, and financial years, from 1996 quarter 2 to the most recent available, which includes the years requested.

Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

With regard to your question on how many of those successful new build applications chose to incorporate solar panels. The presence of 'LZC Energy Source' is one of the data fields recorded in the published 'Domestic Energy Performance Certificate' (EPC) dataset, available at An EPC is required on completion of each new dwelling.

Published data covers the period to 01 2017 at present. A revised dataset, to Q4 2018 will be published in the coming months. In advance of that publication, we can advise that the approximate percentage of new homes in 2016-18 which declared the presence of photovoltaics is as follows:

  • 2016: 10% incorporated solar panels
  • 2017: 23% incorporated solar panels
  • 2018: 40% incorporated solar panels

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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