Homes that don't cost the earth: a consultation on Scotland's Sustainable Housing Strategy

This consultation paper sets out our vision for a housing sector that helps to establish a successful low carbon economy across Scotland.

Consultation Questions

The consultation questions are listed here for ease of reference.

Please use the respondent information form and consultation questionnaire for your response. This is published as a separate Word document (under 'Associated downloadable documents'). You can save the form as a file on your computer and return to us at You do not need to answer every question unless you want to. We welcome all responses.

The closing date for responses is Friday 28 September.



Are the vision and objectives as set out in sections 19 and 20 appropriate for Scotland's Sustainable Housing Strategy?

Please answer Yes or No and provide further explanation if you wish.

Chapter 1 - A National Retrofit Programme


What do you think are the main barriers that prevent home owners and landlords from installing energy efficiency measures?


Please explain any practical solutions and/or incentives to overcome any barriers you have identified?


Given Scotland's diverse range of housing, what support is needed to enable people to get energy efficiency measures installed?


(a) What specific issues need to be addressed in respect of improving energy efficiency in rural areas, particularly more remote or island areas?

(b) How should these be addressed?


Taking into account the models and funding sources outlined in sections 1.20- 1.37, what role might local authorities and other agencies play in bringing about a step change in retrofitting Scotland's housing?


What role should the Scottish Government play in a National Retrofit Programme?


What role could the devolution of additional powers play in achieving more retrofit?


What further action is needed to achieve the scale of change required to existing homes?


How can we make sure a National Retrofit Programme maximises benefits to all consumers (for example, older people, those from ethnic minorities, those with long term illness or disability)?

Chapter 2 - The Role of Standards


(a) Should the Scottish Government consider whether a single mandatory condition standard (beyond the tolerable standard) should apply to all properties, irrespective of tenure?

(b) If so, how would that be enforced?


(a) In box 6 we identify a checklist for maintaining a quality home. Do you agree with our proposed hierarchy of needs? Please answer Yes or No

(b) If you think anything is missing or in the wrong place please explain your views.


Should local authorities be able to require that owners improve their properties, in the same way they can require that they repair them? For example, could poor energy efficiency be a trigger for a work notice?

Please answer Yes or No and provide further explanation if you wish, for example on how this might work.


Should local authorities have a power to enforce decisions taken by owners under the title deeds, tenement management scheme or by unanimity ? For example. Should they have explicit powers to pay missing shares of owners who are not paying for communal repair work, in the same way they can for agreed maintenance work ?

Please answer Yes or No and provide further explanation if you wish.


Should local authorities be able to automatically issue maintenance orders on any property which has had a work notice?

Please answer Yes or No and provide further explanation if you wish


Should the process for using maintenance orders be streamlined , and if so, how?

Please answer Yes or No and provide further explanation if you wish.


Should local authorities be able to

a. issue work notices on housing affecting the amenity, and

b. require work such as to improve safety and security,

on properties which are outwith a Housing Renewal area?

Please answer Yes or No and provide further explanation if you wish.


Should local authorities be able to issue repayment charges for work done on commercial properties, in the same way they can for residential premises?

Please answer Yes or No and provide further explanation if you wish.


What action, if any, do you think the Government should take to make it easier to dismiss and replace property factors?


What action can be taken to raise the importance placed by owners and tenants on the energy efficiency of their properties?


Should the Scottish Government introduce minimum energy efficiency standards for private sector housing?


How could we amend EPCs to make them a more useful tool for influencing behaviour change to improve energy efficiency?


Are there other key principles that we ought to consider when looking at the possible introduction of regulations?


How could regulation be used to support the uptake of incentives?


In section 2.68 we identify design options for the standard.

Do you have any views on the options set out in that report?

Are there other options that we should be considering?


Do you agree that any regulations for private sector housing ought to reflect the energy efficiency capacity of the property and/or location, as is proposed for the social sector?


If you agree with Q26, should houses of the same type in the social and private sectors be expected to meet the same standard?


Are there other specific issues we need to consider in introducing regulation on the energy efficiency of the home for particular groups of people, for example older people, those with disabilities, people from minority ethnic communities?


Should we consider additional trigger points to point of sale or rental? If so, what?


Should rollout of any regulation across the owner occupied and PRS sectors be phased or all at once? If you think that rollout should be phased how do you think this should be done?


What other issues around enforcement do we need to think about when considering how different approaches to regulation might work?


In sections 2.76- 2.79 we suggest that one way of regulating would be to issue sanctions.

(a) Do you think that sanctions on owners should be used to enforce regulations? Yes/No

(b) Should owners be able to pass the sanction or obligation on to buyers? Yes/No


The Scottish Government does not intend to regulate before 2015. The working group will consider what options for timing of any regulation might be appropriate, but, given all the points set out in sections 2.80- 2.81, from when do you think it might be appropriate to apply regulations?

Chapter 3: Financial Market Transformation


(a) In Section 3.4 we describe the range of legislative and policy levers that we believe are available to help us transform the financial market such that it values warm, high quality, low carbon homes. Do you agree that this is the full range of levers? Yes/No

(b) Can you suggest any other ways to help transform the market for more energy efficient, sustainable homes?


What changes would be required to current survey and lending practice to enable mortgage lenders to take account of the income from new technology or savings on energy bills?


Section 3.15 lists a range of challenges that may prevent the benefits of a more sustainable, energy efficient home being fully recognised in its value. What further challenges, if any, need to be addressed?


(a) Sections 3.16- 3.22 sets out the action that Scottish Government is currently developing to encourage greater recognition of the value of sustainable homes. Do you agree that this action is appropriate?

(b) What further action is needed to influence consumers and the market?

Chapter 4: New Build Market Transformation


What steps can we take to ensure that we design and develop sustainable neighbourhoods?


Section 4.10 sets out the main challenges to address in taking forward our aim of new build transformation. What further challenges, if any, need to be addressed?


What action is needed to increase the capacity for developing and bringing to market innovative methods of construction?


What further changes to the operation of the Government's affordable housing supply programme would help to enable it to champion greener construction methods and technologies in the medium term?


What further action is needed to influence the construction industry to make greater use of innovative methods to deliver more greener new homes?

Chapter 5: Skills and Training


(a) Has Chapter 5 of this consultation identified the key challenges to ensuring Scottish companies have the skills to take advantage of the opportunities expected to be on offer? Yes/No

(b) If not, What other challenges are there?


What further action is needed to ensure there is appropriate investment in skills and training to meet these opportunities?


How can the construction industry be made more aware of the potential funding and support for skills and training development opportunities and engage effectively with those providing training to ensure that it meets their current and future needs?


How do we ensure that skills and training opportunities are provided on an equitable basis to all groups in society?


Apart from training and skills opportunities are there any other issues that should be addressed to make employment in construction and other industries becomes more representative?


Please describe any specific difficulties relating to skills and training that apply to those in remote and island areas and your view on how these may be addressed ?


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