Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy pilots: phase 3 - evaluation

Evaluation of the third, and final, phase of Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) pilots, which involved nine local authorities and took place between November 2019 and April 2021.

3. Summary of LHEES Phase 3 pilots

3.1 Context

One of the LHEES Phase 3 pilots focused on the whole council area, whilst eight focused on specific, smaller areas. Stakeholders noted that a whole-area approach gave them a broader understanding of the building stock and heat demand, in preparation for delivering a specific target area-wide LHEES in the future.

All of the LHEES Phase 3 pilots analysed energy performance and heat supply and discussed decarbonisation efforts for both the domestic and non-domestic sectors. However more focus was given to the domestic sector with more specific decarbonisation targets. This approach was predominately driven by access to data: pilot schemes found it more difficult to gain access to data for non-domestic buildings and felt less confident that private businesses would share their building stock data with the council. In addition, councils already had data and targets on levels of fuel poverty in the area and therefore this had greater focus in the pilot schemes.

Table 1: Summary of Phase 3 LHEES pilots for each local authority
Local authority LHEES pilot scope
Angus Council To identify the tools, data, skills and resources required to develop and deliver an area based LHEES covering all buildings (domestic and non-domestic).

Six villages off the gas grid were selected by Angus Council for this pilot study: Inverkeilor; Glamis; Edzell; Newtyl; Monikie; and Aberlemno
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) Consideration of heat decarbonisation across the islands, and how this can be managed against a stock profile which consists largely of crofter housing off the gas grid.

The project area focused on crofter housing on the Isle of Harris.
East Ayrshire Council The focus was to identify high heat demand areas with potential for district heating. The area focus was East Ayrshire, Kilmarnock, North West Kilmarnock and South-Central Kilmarnock.
East Dunbartonshire Council The project assessed the current energy efficiency of existing buildings (predominantly housing) within a defined area in East Dunbartonshire and considered options for improving energy efficiency and delivering a transition to renewable heat.
East Renfrewshire Council The focus was to set targets and decarbonisation recommendations covering all buildings (domestic and non-domestic) with a focus on Neilston and Barrhead.
Moray Council The pilot focused on two towns and rural areas within the local authority boundaries, investigating different solutions appropriate to the different locations:
Burghead: Waste heat from a local maltings, marine sourced heat pump and biomass-based boilers.

Elgin: Provision of Integrated Large town Masterplan with longer term LHEES.
Rural areas: Energy efficiency measures together with low carbon heating solutions for various property types and environments.
North Ayrshire Council An LHEES, including identifying high heat demand and fuel poverty covering the whole North Ayrshire.
South Ayrshire Council Reduction of energy demand and decarbonisation of heat supply in both Prestwick (town with high heat demand and potential for district heating) and Dailly (village off the gas grid).
West Dunbartonshire Council The focus was to set targets and decarbonisation recommendations covering all buildings (domestic and non-domestic) in an area of high heat demand with potential for district heating. The area focus was the Clydebank area of West Dunbartonshire Council.

3.2 Changes in scope

It is important to note that during phase 2, the scope of certain pilots was changed and/or enhanced as a result of local authorities declaring a 'climate emergency'. Similarly, pilots in Phase 3 narrowed and refined their scope in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.3 Phase 3 comparison to Phases 1 and 2

The following section provides a brief analysis of the evolution of LHEES from Phase 1 to Phase 3, and coverage of the envisaged six stages. Throughout all three phases, Stage 3 (target setting) was often broad and lacked specific sector targets with a tangible timescale for them to be achieved.

It is difficult to compare cost and carbon saving assessments due to differences in reporting between the three phases. However, there appears to be a wide range in identified savings (from 9%-65%) across all phases, depending on the measures recommended.

Phases 1 and 2 covered the majority of LHEES stages (see page 7 for an overview of LHEES stages as defined in the 2017 consultations). However, particularly in Phase 2, Stage 4 (the socioeconomic analysis) was often excluded from the reports.

This contrasts with Phase 3 pilots, where Stage 4 was included and resulted in detailed socio-economic assessment of zoned energy efficiency measures and potential heat decarbonisation solutions. This change likely comes from the lessons learned by Scottish Government during Phases 1 and 2 about embedding a more direct approach to focused local area zoning and intentions to address fuel poverty[7].


Email: heatinbuildings@gov.scot

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