Publication - Research and analysis

Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES): phase 2 pilots evaluation

LHEES aim to establish local authority plans for systematically improving the energy efficiency of buildings and decarbonising heat. This report presents an evaluation of the Phase 2 pilots focusing on the organisational and social aspects, and a review of reports generated by the projects.

Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES): phase 2 pilots evaluation
6. Appendix 1: Socio-economic assessment methodology

6. Appendix 1: Socio-economic assessment methodology

Scottish Government have proposed that the socio-economic assessment recommended for Stage 4 (see LHEES stages listed in Section 1) would be a statutory requirement at three levels: of LHEES (strategy level), of district heating developments (project level) and for use during mediation for connecting individual buildings (heat users and surplus heat suppliers), with the ambition of demonstrating that:

"the zones have been designated appropriately according to national and local objectives, including fuel poverty, and are consistent with neighbouring local authorities." (Scottish Government, 2017: 20 [see Footnote 4])

In support of this, Scottish Government have developed a socio-economic methodology[11], which follows 5 stages:
1. Define the problem, generate alternatives and establish criteria
2. Assign criteria weights
3. Construct the evaluation matrix
4. Apply scoring to assess projects
5. Rank the alternatives

Within the methodology, recommended criteria to consider and their weightings, have been provided (see Table 2). For a given project, each criterion then receives a score. The score is between 1-5 (between 1-3 = detrimental impact, 3 = no changes, between 3-5 = positive impact). Within this methodology, teams developing LHEES can then apportion their own scoring to different potential interventions. The aim of this exercise is to establish the suitability of energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures for achieving carbon targets alongside broader economic and social goals. 

Table 2: Criteria and weightings that feature in the socio-economic assessment 
Criteria Weighting
Carbon emissions .30
Fuel poverty .30
Financial .08
Local economic .08
Local environmental .08
Social .08
Resilience .08
Total 1.00