Over two-thirds of the households who completed works through the Equity Loan pilot took part in the survey. Their responses provide an essential evidence base for the Scottish Government to draw upon when considering the learning from the pilot and deciding any next steps. Reflecting their lived experience, loan holders' feedback spans the range of eligible works, including energy efficiency measures, heat loss reduction measures and repairs that were available through the pilot.
Impacts for loan holders included lower heating bills and more comfortable living conditions. In particular, we highlight the significant rise in the number of respondents who reported that they 'always' felt warm in winter (22% reported 'always' feeling warm in winter before the solutions were installed; this increased to 83% after works completed. Other benefits included having a more reliable hot water source, having a more soundproof home and having damp, dry rot and draughts addressed. Some loan holders described being less stressed about the condition of their homes since taking part in the pilot.
The pilot produced evidence of the demand for equity loans; most loan holders were actively searching for financial support to fund repairs and energy efficiency improvements to their homes when they discovered the pilot. They learned about the pilot through a variety of channels; nearly half became aware through an organisation involved in the pilot; just under a quarter described a word of mouth referral from someone they knew.
Important attributes of the pilotincluded access to capital, competitive terms, and the professional support provided during the loan application process. On potential improvements to the scheme, loan holders expressed a desire for shorter timescales in the legal processes. Confusion among a small number of loan holders about terms and conditions also indicates that there may be scope to enhance the accessibility and clarity of communication about fees and timescales.
The survey generated limited evidence about the impact of the home Equity Loan pilot on energy-efficiency and carbon emission ratings. Loan holders' awareness of changes to their property's energy efficiency and carbon emission ratings after the works were completed was low; some did not understand these ratings, others had not had their property inspected since taking part in the pilot. However, those who used the Equity Loan to pay for repairs to their property were able to identify improvements in the condition of their home, including making it more wind and watertight.
Overall, the feedback presents clear evidence that the pilot was valued by loan holders. There was a broad acknowledgement of the positive impacts experienced by many households, which, given that two-thirds of loan holders lived with others, extended beyond the loan holders to others they shared their homes with.
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