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.

8. Appendix 3: Local Authority Report Summaries

Aberdeenshire Council LHEES Report

SME sector. Data analysis identified 13,825 SME businesses in the region; 12,595 fall into the micro-business category (0-9 employees). Once domestic and public sector sites had been removed there were 8,704 SMEs across Aberdeenshire (analysts took this to mean that a significant number of SMEs (5,000), were operating from domestic buildings (and could be targeted through domestic sector activities).
Analysts identified 2 zones to focus on: Peterhead and Inverurie

Data sources:
OS AddressBase Plus; Scotland Heat Map
NOMIS; Off-gas postcodes (UK Government)
Local Development Plan (Aberdeenshire Council)

Additional data collection: 
Online survey sent to 400 businesses; received 28 responses – not statistically representative but results broadly reflected later findings from site surveys.

'Light touch' site surveys – visiting shops unannounced, and provided council-headed letter to industrial units. 30 minutes per site to establish opportunities for efficiency and decarbonisation; validity of existing data including whether sites were heated or unheated; and prevalence of different fuel types.

Recommendations made:

  • For retail zones and high street shops, lighting and air-source heat pumps were identified as potential interventions for carbon reduction: 
    • LEDs anticipated to payback within 4-6 years
    • ASHP potential payback in excess of 20 years
    • For council-owned workshops. Suggestions with feasible payback periods include LEDs and ASHP (as per high street shops), but also: 
    • 7-day heating controls – under 2 years
    • solar PV – 10-12 years
    • Electric radiant heating systems – payback 2-8 years.
  • Feasibility of DH and Hydrogen also considered, but not feasible within SME sector alone – would need to be assessed as part of wider programme. 
  • Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that the early pilots are developed to focus on LED lighting upgrades, solar PV on Council-owned industrial units, and switching to electric radiant heating for larger gas-heated SME sites. 
  • It is recommended that the development of solar PV systems on Council-owned industrial units be considered within the context of any wider plans to develop a Council-owned energy supply company (ESCo) as set out in the Council's Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP). 

Relation to existing programmes and Aberdeenshire council activities: 
Report refers to Scottish Government targets, EES Routemap; EPCs and LHEES. Also relates to Aberdeenshire Council's Climate Change Policy, including North East Scotland Sustainable Energy Action Plan (NESSEAP), noting that: "the LHEES will provide the strategy for reducing emissions from buildings within the wider NESSEAP" (p.15); and Aberdeenshire Council's Regeneration Strategy – identifying that this could be an opportunity for energy efficiency improvements, but there is not much mention of this later in the report. Report also refers to Aberdeenshire's Smart Solar and Storage project (currently in the domestic sector, but could be extended to include SMEs where solar is a viable solution for decarbonisation).

Use of six stages framework:
"This study report focusses primarily on Stages 1 and 2 within the context of the local SME sector in Aberdeenshire. The majority of funding and study effort was focused on the establishment of an SME database to facilitate future development of a LHESS for the region. Some effort was also made to consider Stage 3, although data availability and quality issues meant that it was challenging to carry out any meaningful strategic assessment of specific improvement options." (p.10)

No socio-economic assessment carried out (Stage 4), and no costing for the different solutions provided (Stage 6). Instead, the focus is on the carbon savings of potential measures. 

Contribution to broader LHEES:

  • No ability to assess feasibility of district heating when looking at single sector.

Key challenges/ findings: 

  • Heat Map data is unreliable
  • Sharing of available information was challenging and needs to be addressed: 
  • Large proportion of SMEs work from home and could be targeted through domestic energy efficiency strategies.
  • Broadly, 2 types of SME building ('workshops', and high street retail), with different associated challenges:
    • Even though the basic construction of the workshop buildings is very similar, there is a diverse range of businesses, building uses and occupancy patterns within these properties. The diversity in use makes it very it difficult to define and assess any strategic approaches without using a site-by-site basis. 
    • High Street Shops require little in the way of heating, and there is less scope for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation improvements 
  • Proximity to the gas network is not a good predictor of whether SMEs are likely to have a gas connection and use gas for heating purposes. 
  • Critically, the report notes: "We recommend that it is fundamentally reconsidered whether local authorities should be required to gather data on SMEs for the purpose of LHEES development. It does not seem reasonable to expect individual authorities to establish reliable baseline data for such a diverse sector without any mandatory powers to do so." (p.41)

Falkirk Council LHEES Report

Council-owned building stock, and public sector bodies, including: 

  • NHS Forth Valley
  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue
  • Forth Valley College

Specific example strategies are developed for Grangemouth, Falkirk town centre and Falkirk-wide energy efficiency and decarbonisation of council-owned building stock.

Data sources:
Council data on consumption on council-owned stock (detail on this unclear). 
Case study exemplar school building selected for in-depth analysis, identification of measures and costing

Additional data collection: 
Site surveys were completed at a sample of buildings. 

Recommendations made:

  • LHEES flowchart and Heat Network Strategy both provided to support future council decision-making
  • Prioritise high emitting buildings for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures (including heat pumps, biomass, and hydrogen (anticipated from 2030-2045)). Include some carbon offsetting to meet net zero targets by 2030 (prior to hydrogen roll-out). [This is Scenario 4 – which is following Scenario 1 but including offsetting]. Scenario 1 is applying the 3 phases (outlined below) to the entire council estate. This will deliver:
    • 59% emissions reduction by 2032
    • 70% low carbon heat by 2032
    • 20% heat demand reduction by 2032
    • Net Zero by 2045
    • EPC Band B.

Relation to existing programmes and Falkirk council activities: 
Falkirk Council have announced a target for Net Zero by 2030 – this was the main target underpinning the LHEES pilot. 

Specific council strategies also cited are:

  • 2016 Falkirk Council DHN Outline Business Case (Atkins)
  • Local Development Plan
  • Falkirk Council Non-Domestic Energy Efficiency Project
  • Callander Park Heat Network Development.

Use of six stages framework:
All 6 stages of the framework are used in this LHEES.
1. The report is framed around delivering Falkirk's Net Zero by 2030 target.
2. The assessment of the existing stock's energy performance included Council data on building consumption, and site visits to a sample of buildings.
3. Targets were set for 2030 and 2045.
4. Socio-economic assessment was completed for the different scenarios. This was completed only for the public buildings included in the LHEES, and each time, the different decarbonisation options being compared revealed the same score. The similar scores were used to, for example, eliminate a heat network on the basis that specific low carbon heat options could deliver an equivalent outcome.
5. The 74 highest emitting buildings were prioritized for measures. There was no designation of zones; the LHEES focused only on one sector and sought to establish suitable measures for that sector, rather than on an area-basis.
6. The costing and phasing of delivery programmes were both completed for the 4 scenarios explored. 3 phases for action were identified: 
"Phase 1 (2020-2030): Full upgrades for buildings where heat pumps or biomass are the preferred option, prioritizing buildings based on age and economic life of existing heating system
Phase 2 (2025 – 2035): Energy efficiency upgrades for buildings where hydrogen is the preferred option (depending on developing decisions at government level), prioritizing buildings by age
Phase 3 (2030 – 2045): Roll-out of hydrogen heating to buildings where this is the preferred option, prioritizing buildings by size and lifespan of existing heating system. Should hydrogen prove not to be a viable option for wide application to the existing natural gas network, alternative low carbon heating systems can be deployed as shortlisted for each building."  (p.11)

Contribution to broader LHEES:
The report contains clear account of the different scenarios, and appendices provide summary of assumptions made for costings. 

This report focuses only on the council stock, so it does not provide a geographically zoned, area-wide strategy. Rather, the report prioritises 'high emitting' council-owned buildings, recognizing that 74 buildings account for 80% of all council carbon emissions.

Key challenges/ findings: 
£2.2 million per year is above council's current budget of £1 – 1.5 million per year for energy efficiency measures, and additional funds would be required for council offsetting. £1.5 million per year is not guaranteed going forward either, so there is a shortfall that would need to be addressed. 

Fife Council LHEES Report


  • Identify and support businesses in the Levenmouth area with energy efficiency improvements. 
  • Test the council's functions that engage with businesses.
  • Inform how Fife Council prepares for Scottish Government's proposed LHEES requirements.

Data sources:
Ordanance Survey
Scotland Heat Map
Spatial Data boundaries
BEIS Sub-national MSOA
Exoserve gas postcode
NOMIS from the Office for National Statistics
Business data (from internal Economic Development team)
Business advice service (from Zero Waste Scotland) – but limited opportunities to share data

Much of the data was quite high level, and efforts to focus on micro-level (e.g. individual businesses) demonstrated inaccuracies in the available data, and a lack of data available. 

Additional data collection: 
Survey with businesses was attempted, but received v. few returns. On-site survey completed for one business (with pre-agreement for the visit to take place). Trialled a number of different activities and events – including breakfast mornings and engaging with other organisations/ activities including: Supplier Development Programme; Business Improvement Districts; Local Enterprise Partnerships (England); Local Energy Hubs

Recommendations made:
Numerous recommendations made. Some specific ones for future LHEES rollout:

  • Sales skills and energy expertise are required to sell energy improvements to businesses -> not currently in Economic Development or RES, so would need that resource
  • Estimated 10 points of contact with RES between referral and implementing energy improvements -> needs to be streamlined
    • 12 month project duration not sufficient to see RES referrals through to completion – longer duration to test success rates
  • Engagement with businesses effective before 9am; and without prior arrangement (e.g. popping in for quick f2f survey of property). Long time required to organize business events (upwards of 40 hours) – need to resource this for wider LHEES
  • When choosing area boundaries for LHEES – best to use interzone or datazone as these are standard boundaries by which Scottish and UK Govts provide data at scale
  • Need to improve the quality of data available for businesses: recommend some form of business focused annual survey similar to Scottish House Condition Survey.
  • Data gathered by RES should include standard metrics and useful information for LHEES (e.g. floor area), and made available to inform area level strategies. Needs to be in standard format.
  • Significant gap in availability of building-level data – this needs to be improved. 
  • Heat map data appropriate for wider level, but not at point data level. 
  • Potential to connect industrial growth and carbon emissions as per Local Enterprise Partnerships[12]: "National Planning and Community Planning Partnerships in Scotland are not currently required to account for their impact on energy demands or to deliver carbon neutral or low-carbon developments. This could be made a requirement across Scottish Government and all Scottish Government funded development to demonstrate delivery against Climate Emergency declaration.
  • Scottish Government need to support further work in accommodating energy works with longer payback through Business Improvement Districts. 

Relation to existing programmes and Fife council activities: 
Report references the Plan for Fife, which focuses on tackling poverty and inequality in the mid-Fife area (including the Levenmouth area (Leven; Methil; Buckhaven)

Worked with Fife Council's Economic Development team to identify businesses in the area and establish contacts with them.

Use of six stages framework:
The Fife LHEES included 3 broad activities:
1. Engaged businesses – learning how to efficiently engage them in tackling their energy [consumption]
2. Analysed how others have worked with businesses to reduce and decarbonize energy consumption
3. Tested and developed data collection and analysis to better understand and target business energy. 

Because of this, the pilot was less suited socio-economic modelling, and prioritisation of areas/ zones for a potential LHEES. There was no costing of potential future activities required under LHEES

Contribution to broader LHEES:
Good account of how to engage with businesses, with some positive experiences and strategies listed alongside those that did not work. 

Key challenges/ findings: 
Businesses (especially SMEs) lack the time to participate, and often work on a short-term financial basis. Engaging with businesses was a very resource intensive activity.

Inverclyde Council LHEES Report:

Improving energy efficiency and decarbonising heat in public sector buildings across the whole Inverclyde region. Including:

  • Inverclyde leisure
  • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • West College Scotland
  • Scottish Courts Service
  • Scottish Prison Service

Data sources:
The use of data for the report is unclear – but exploring energy consumption in council-owned buildings, so likely coming from council. Other public sector building data sourced from relevant public sector organisations.

Additional data collection: 
Additional data collection was discussed at interview (see Appendix 2

Recommendations made:
The report identifies 3 principles for prioritising sites for feasible energy efficiency interventions:

  • Sites with high consumption, particularly by unit area are likely to have greater opportunity for cost-effective energy efficiency improvements – these are detailed on a building-by-building basis in Appendix B.
  • In general, returns for energy efficiency measures will be better in sites with longer hours of use. For example, returns on a leisure centre are likely to be more attractive than in a primary school. 
  • An evaluation of out of hours use can be an effective check for poor controls, giving an indication of where savings can be made. In most cases, this can be facilitated by half-hourly or automatic meter reading (AMR) systems. (p.3)

The following 'low regrets' options for heat are identified: 

  • Heat pumps as and when heating generation plant needs replacing
  • Woody biomass, where revenue positive and short payback
  • Heat networks 

Recommendations are made for action in different buildings: council owned and operated; council owned operated by 3rd parties; non-council owned public buildings. 

For council-owned buildings, the report notes that: As a core function of the LHEES, a Buildings Energy Efficiency and Renewable Heat Plan has been created which will restore many of the areas covered by the previous Carbon Management Plans (*this represents a continuation of existing work, rather than a distinct change in delivery of energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation). 

Activities for buildings operated by 3rd parties, and non-council owned public buildings mostly centre on 'encouraging' activities within particular buildings and 'forming an LHEES working group' to try to align activities across different public sector buildings. 

For buildings operated by 3rd parties, the report notes that they will review the use of green leases and ensuring that buildings meet EPC standards required by law. 

For non-council owned public buildings, the report notes that they will: set up an LHEES working group; build on and encourage different sectors to develop carbon management plans; share findings of heat network studies with public sector organisations; create supplementary guidance for and Local Development Plans, use Building Standards officers to ensure compliance with building regulations.

Relation to existing programmes and Inverclyde council activities: 
The report links to Scottish Government's broader targets, particularly referring to targets for: 59% reduction in emissions from non-domestic buildings by 2032 from 2015 levels; 70% of heat from low carbon sources by 2032; 20% reduction in non-domestic heat demand by 2032 from 2015 levels; the equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland's heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources by 2030 

The report also cites Inverclyde Council's Carbon Management Plan which ran between 2007/08 and 2016/17.

Use of six stages framework:
The report outlines the 6 stages of LHEES as detailed in SG's 2017 consultation, but does not include any socio-economic assessment (Stage 4) because the pilot focused on public sector buidlings. The setting of aggregate targets for heat demand reduction is included in Appendices B and C (Stage 3). This includes a building-by-building account of current condition and energy consumption, recommended short-medium term measures and potential carbon and financial savings through these.  More general resources and costs are also noted in Section 9 on 'Resource Planning', which identifies the need for £45,000 for an energy manager, £40,000 for a Building Standards officer, and costs for the implementation of automatic meter reading across the council estate. A potential heat network is identified for the public sector buildings in the Greenock centre, and a costing is provided for different scales of network (wide area would cost £11.5 million; more limited area would cost £4 million). 

Key challenges/ findings: 

  • Taking a sector-based approach appears to have limited opportunities for identifying area-wide interventions (for example, district heating)
  • Use of data appears limited in this LHEES report; outcomes remain quite high level, particularly for buildings that council don't occupy or own.

Midlothian Council LHEES Report

The report notes a sectoral approach focusing on:
1. Energy efficiency in the 'able-to-pay' (both domestic and non-domestic)
2. Energy efficiency in the private rented sector.

The technical report provides an area-wide analysis of Midlothian (including 39,606 domestic properties). 

Data sources:
Home Analytics; Scotland Heat Map data
Postcode level energy use data from BEIS
Corporate address gazetteer data from Midlothian Council
EPC data for the non-domestic stock ; Scottish House Condition Survey

Additional data collection: 
Stakeholder engagement was carried out with a variety of groups, including:

  • Owner-occupiers
  • Business representatives
  • Private sector landlords

The engagement activities included a survey (publicised via Changeworks in Penicuik and Facebook) and attending business networking events hosted by Changeworks and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce.

Recommendations made:
All domestic properties:

  • Given that many properties have mains gas as their main fuel, few properties were considered suitable for air source heat pump (4%). This increases substantially (up to 48%) when loosening this criterium for heat pump suitability. 
  • 31% of properties are suitable for wall insulation measures, mostly cavity wall insulation (15%) and internal wall insulation (12%). 
  • Installing all possible fabric upgrades is estimated to cost £59m, installing all identified low carbon heating upgrades would cost £111m

Privately rented properties:

  • The privately rented sector in Midlothian represents 8% of the total domestic stock. From this privately rented stock, 82% of the properties were identified as being suitable for an energy efficiency or low carbon heating upgrade. 
  • Installing all possible fabric upgrades in the privately rented sector would cost £8.1m installing all identified low carbon heating upgrades would cost £8.5m. 


  • One third of properties in Midlothian are in areas identified as 'willing to fund'
  • Installing all possible fabric upgrades in the "willing to fund" households would cost £16m, installing all identified low carbon heating upgrades would cost £40m

Carbon savings from measures

All households:
Domestic Fuel Consumption (GWh/yr) CO2 (kt/yr) Potential saving CO2 (kt/yr) Potential saving CO2 (%) of fuel
Gas consumption (BEIS 2017) 497 91.3 13.8 15 %
Electricity consumption (BEIS 2017) 277 52.6 4.5 9 %
Total (gas and electricity) 775 144 18 13 %
Private rented sector:
Domestic Fuel Consumption (GWh/yr) CO2 (kt/yr) Potential saving CO2 (kt/yr) Potential saving CO2 (%) of fuel
Gas consumption (BEIS 2017) 33 6.0 1.1 18 %
Electricity consumption (BEIS 2017) 16 2.9 0.5 15 %
Total (gas and electricity) 48 9.0 1.5 17%
Self-funded households
Domestic Fuel Consumption (GWh/yr) CO2 (kt/yr) Potential saving CO2 (kt/yr) Potential saving CO2 (%) of fuel
Gas consumption (BEIS 2017) 174 32.0 5.2 16 %
Electricity consumption (BEIS 2017) 53 10.1 1.4 14 %
Total (gas and electricity) 228 42.1 6.7 16 %

Relation to existing programmes and Midothian Council activities: 
The report includes a review of Midlothian Council policies which include information related to eight themes: domestic energy efficiency; non-domestic energy efficiency; heat decarbonisation; carbon reduction; economic development (specific to low-carbon economy); planning/ development for domestic/ non-domestic buildings; fuel poverty; community engagement. The review identified ambitions for energy efficiency and decarbonisation, but few clear targets from the council, noting:
"a review of Midlothian Council's policies showed a clear lack of measurable aims and targets. Those targets that were identified, were mainly driven by Scottish Government' national policies and targets. The Council has no measurable target for heat decarbonisation or energy efficiency, other than those outlined in the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH)." (p.12).

Use of six stages framework:
Elements of all 6 stages are included. The setting of aggregate short and long term targets (Stage 3) is limited. Although the report includes a review of existing local and national strategies, the results of the LHEES are not linked back to those strategies. The report includes costing but not phasing of delivery programmes (Stage 6). The calculation of costing is not clear from the report (but this may be included in supplementary guidance shared with the local authority).

Contribution to broader LHEES:
The Technical Report identified that: 
"no suitable upgrade (for either fabric upgrades or heating upgrades) was applicable for one-fifth off the domestic housing stock (8,098 properties). From these 8098 properties with currently no suggested improvements 2,285 properties (28%) have an energy efficiency band D or worse." (p.32) – this is significant for efforts to reach net zero as it indicates that a quarter of properties with and EPC D or below have no suggested improvements. 

Key challenges/ findings:
The Corporate Address Gazetteer listed 397 commercial buildings in Midlothian, but also includes a large number of official addresses as 'unclassified', so there is no definitive number of non-domestic buildings. EPC results were available for 570 non-domestic properties, 348 of these could be cross-referenced with the Gazetteer entries – only 56 of these cross-referenced entries are recorded as being non-domestic, the rest remain 'unclassified'.

North Lanarkshire Council LHEES Report

Domestic and non-domestic buildings

North Lanarkshire – wide, with detailed socio-economic analysis of exemplar areas: urban (Craigneuk Wishaw); suburban - on gas grid (Birkenshaw); and rural - off gad grid (Allanton-Newmains).  

Data sources:
Home Analytics Scotland; Scotland Heat Map; Energy Performance Certificate register; National Records of Scotland (methodology for spatial aggregation of data).

For socio-economic analysis, used: Portfolio Energy Analysis Tool (PEAT); LHEES Cost Database; BSRIA Rules of Thumb; HM Treasury's Green Book (forecasting for utilities emissions and costs); Scottish Input-Output table (to estimate job creation)

Additional data collection: 
No additional data collected.

Recommendations made:

Detached houses are most likely to have double- or triple-glazing however, there are still opportunities within this typology for building fabric efficiency improvements relating to wall insulation – especially in older properties.

It is recommended that semi-detached houses are a key focus area for energy retrofit in North Lanarkshire, which will require careful consideration of the support available for private owner-occupiers and private landlords in the area.

There is an indication that older terraced houses are performing poorly, with only 0.4% of those built between 1919 and 1949 achieving EPC bands A/B. Older terraced houses are also unlikely to have wall insulation – this will be a disruptive measure for such properties and needs to be considered in combination with any heritage concerns.

Despite being the most likely housing typology to be in fuel poverty, flats in North Lanarkshire are the most energy efficient homes, likely due to the high proportion of social tenure flats that have benefitted from programmes such as EESSH. This enhances the benefit of habitual behaviour change campaigns for such households.

Class A Retail, Financial/Professional services, Food and beverage outlets - Due to its strong prevalence in North Lanarkshire, it is recommended that Class A properties are the initial focus of energy performance retrofit in the non-domestic sector.

Class B Offices, Workshops, Industrial, Storage, Distribution are low energy intensity buildings. The Scotland Heat Map energy demand for these buildings shows unrealistically high heat demand due to the benchmarking process used.

Class C Hotels and Residential institutions - have the lowest average U-value, indicating better building fabric performance than the average in North Lanarkshire.

Class D Non-residential institutions, Assembly and Leisure - Education buildings in North Lanarkshire are better performing than the average across the whole non-domestic sector, with 20% in the lowest energy band, compared to 37.4% across North Lanarkshire as a whole.

Relation to existing programmes and North Lanarkshire council activities: 
North Lanarkshire's Local Housing Strategy 2016-2021, emphasising the potential of LHEES to contribute to 'Priority 5: tackle fuel poverty and contribute to meeting Climate change Target' 

The North Lanarkshire Local Plan is also referred to in the policy review. However, specific carbon reduction targets are not identified here. The socio-economic framework does mention North Lanarkshire's goal to be carbon neutral by 2030, but no specific documents are referred to.

Use of the six stages framework:
Elements of all 6 stages were included, but the report focuses on stages 1-4. Stages 1 and 2 are extensively detailed. Stage 3 includes recommendations for heat demand reduction and decarbonisation, but does not establish authority-wide aggregate targets; instead targets are set to be in-line with SG goals. Stage 4 (socio-economic analysis) is detailed in a separate report. There is some indicative costing provided (Stage 6) but this is based on broader, estimated figures.

Contribution to broader LHEES:
Use of socio-economic methodology clearly laid out in separate report. Identifies challenges with a number of parameters in the socio-economic approach (socio-economic assessment report p.51-2):

Ref Observations Possible mitigation/ Improvement 
1 Data availability needs to be strengthened and adapted to the purpose of socioeconomic assessment, especially for non-domestic buildings  Currently, there is very poor coverage of non-domestic EPCs across North Lanarkshire. Display Energy Certificates (DECs) have even poorer coverage as they are generally only required by buildings in the public sector. DECs contain more useful information relating to energy use, as they are based on actual building fuel consumption rather than the modelled approach taken for EPCs that is not usually representative of actual building performance. 
2 There is limited research relating to energy efficiency improvements in non-domestic buildings, making it difficult to determine the improvement seen in buildings when energy efficiency interventions are carried out. A National Energy Efficiency Database for non-domestic buildings would assist in calculating the impact of interventions carried out as part of the EES programme. 
3 The interventions packages assumed in this package of work have been based on EPC recommendations in both the domestic and nonp-0domestic sector, as this is aligned to targets detailed in the EES Routemap upon which the LHEES is built. However, these targets will not necessarily meet the aims of Scotland's Climate Change Plan and more recent target to become net zero by 2025.  Section 6 (used for non-domestic EPCs) and SAP (used for domestic EPCs and in PEAT) are not geared towards the large step-change in techno0logy that will be required to deliver carbon neutrality.  An alternative or paired analysis approach should be considered using available carbon emissions data in EPCs
4 There is no responsibility available that links energy efficiency interventions already carried out through programmes such as HEEPS and EESSH to property UPRNs. This would assist in developing a more accurate baseline for the Local Authority, taking into account impact of more recent energy efficiency schemes.  Link data on local generation of heat and electricity to UPRN to identify wider opportunities for energy decarbonisation. 
5 The SEA methodology includes a wide range of impacts, some of which are not suited to this type of analysis (e.g. play areas, green spaces etc)  Consider simplifying the SEA approach by nullifying some indicators
6 The definition of some criteria would benefit from improvement, e.g. local has to be clear to understand the 'local economic impact', and to define a catchment area for measuring the local economic impact Improved definition of some criteria is required or provide additional sub-indicators e.g. for regeneration 
7 Absoluter capital cost may not be the best indicator of financial viability This report suggests looking at composite indicator including IRR and NPV, which would assist in identifying funding models 
8 The scoring criteria or bands for each indicator may not be consistent across urban, semi-urban and rural zones, or for domestic and non-domestic sectors Any comparisons across zones should be undertaken with care and careful consideration of the assumptions and approach 
9 Weighting is very biased to carbon and fuel poverty, but indirect benefits such as jobs, skills etc can support fuel poverty and support the wider political agenda, for example the UK Clean Growth Strategy  Suggest ability to adjust weighting for some criteria according to parallel initiatives being conducted by the LA 

Key challenges/ findings:
Lack of data for the non-domestic sector resulted in vague recommendations being made.

Orkney Islands Council LHEES Report

The LHEES provides an Orkney Islands Council-wide energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation strategy.
The LHEES focuses on domestic buildings in Orkney. It explores options for decarbonising heat and supplying low carbon energy to Orkney households.

Data sources:
Council Tax Register (from Orkney Islands Council)
Private Sector Landlord Registration Database
Orkney Housing Association Limited
Scottish House Condition Survey
Home Analytics Scotland
Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland 2017 (National Records of Scotland)
EPC database
BEIS Sub-national total final energy consumption

Additional data collection: 
90 survey letters were sent to the key busineses and non-domestic sector; only 4 responses were received. 
Survey sent to 11,000 residents; 930 responses received.

Recommendations made:
The key actions emerging from this LHEES are:
1. Develop and undertake research into the best ways to decarbonise the heating of different property types
2. Develop a specific focus on non-domestic buildings and business to try and bring these hard to engage sectors into the work of decarbonising heating in Orkney
3. Enhance advice and information provision for households and businesses around decarbonisation options. The specific recommendation is to develop an 'energy advice service' to engage householders and integrate existing energy advice services from national (HES and RES) and Orkney-based organisations.
4. The provision of a suitable staff base within the Council to provide the required resource to maximise the funding that can be brought into Orkney and utilised to help meet the above targets
5. Ensure coordination of the various insulation, heating and building upgrade programmes underway in Orkney to maximise the funding that can be utilised and provide the more benefit to households, businesses and Orkney in general.
6. Work closely with Scottish and Southern Energy Networks to ensure that any grid upgrades that are required to facilitate the decarbonisation of heat in Orkney.

The targets set through the LHEES include:

  • No more than 5% of households in Orkney are in fuel poverty and no more than 1% of households in Orkney are in extreme fuel poverty by 2040.
  • Improvements to EPC ratings in the private rented, owner occupied and social rented sectors in line with Scottish Government targets laid out in the Energy Efficient Scotland programme.

Relation to existing programmes and Orkney Islands Council activities: 
The LHEES closely aligns with the Orkney Sustainable Energy Strategy 2017-2025 and Orkney's Fuel Poverty Strategy 2017-2022. Also referenced are Orkney's Local Housing Strategy, the Orkney Local Development Plan, the Orkney Hydrogen Strategy and the Orkney Islands Council Carbon Management Programme 2016-2026.

Use of six stages framework:
The LHEES follows the 6 stages of LHEES development, as described by Scottish Government. 

Contribution to broader LHEES:
This is an area-wide LHEES, which covers a 20 year period. It includes a phased delivery programme for energy efficiency based on designated zones.
The LHEES is for an off-gas grid region, so it focuses on solutions for moving heating oil and solid fuel customers to electric systems. The area is dispersed and remote, as such, the report notes that district heating is not viable in many areas, and so the LHEES focuses on alternative low carbon heating technologies.
The report incorporates an options appraisal for different heating systems, including potential costs and sources of funding for different options.

South Lanarkshire Council LHEES Report

1. Analyse and quantify the current condition and energy efficiency of the private rented sector stock within South Lanarkshire
2. Identify low-regret low to zero carbon options within rural off-gas grid settlements

Data sources:
Corporate Address Gazetteer; Heat Map;
Home Analytics;  Address list of privately rented properties;
Spatial data from Local Development Plan; Changeworks Fuel Poverty Map;
Domestic and non-domestic EPCs; Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2016;
Demographics Census 2011 data; BEIS gas/ electricity use data

Additional data collection:
Telephone interviews were conducted with three Council employees to explore the barriers and priorities when considering building fabric and heat decarbonisation upgrades. A target setting workshop was help for South Lanarkshire Council staff, facilitated by Changeworks. 

Recommendations made:
63% of the PRS was identified as suitable for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures. The number of properties suitable for each measure is identified, along with the potential costs of installation and CO2 savings per year:

Potential measure Number of suitable properties Modelled costs Potential CO2 savings per year (t)
Installation Total annual saving Est. annual saving per property
Virgin loft insulation 2,609 £769,425 £325,895 £215-£115 1,495
Top-up loft insulation 2,674 £644,795 £30,490 £20-£10 149
Cavity wall insulation 2,432 £941,550 £251,370 £245-£70 1,100
External wall insulation 373 £2,984,000 £69,610 £425-£120 296
Internal wall insulation 1,608 £8,580,700 £261,875 £425-£120 1,116
Solar thermal hot water 4,148 £16,736,000 £277,900 £95-£50 1,256
Air Source Heat Pump 260 £1,820,000 £104,490 £830-£130 782
High Heat Retention Heaters 3,169 £6,121,210 £401,545 £190-£175 1,746

Source: South Lanarkshire LHEES report, page 12.

The installation costs of all potential measures within the private rented sector is estimated at £38 million. The total CO2 savings would equate to a reduction of about 7% of South Lanarkshire's total domestic property emisions.

Air source heat pumps and solar PV panels are the most suitable low to zero carbon heating options for off-gas grid properties. The top 10 rural areas (in terms of number of properties that could benefit from ASHP or solar PV) are also identified in the report. It is estimated that installing ASHP and solar PV in a single property would cost £13,500. To fund all potential ASHP and solar PV installations would cost approximately £39 million. This action would contribute to around a 10% reduction in the total domestic property emission levels. 

Classification Number of installations Modelled costs Estimated annual CO2 savings (t)
Installation Est. total annual savings
Urban Large urban 37 £499,500 £22,775 163
Other urban 209 £2,821,500 £123,110 882
Small town 138 £1,863,000 £72,715 614
Rural Accessible rural 2,399 £32,386,500 £1,239,990 11,607
Remote rural  110 £1,485,000 £67,675 574
Total 2,893 £39,055,500 £1,526,265 13,840

Source: South Lanarkshire LHEES report, page 15

The pilot also identified opportunities for district heating systems to be embedded within existing public buildings. 9 potential district heating opportunities are identified. 

Relation to existing programmes and South Lanarkshire Council activities: 
Local Housing Strategy 2017-22, which identifies the need to focus on developing understandings of the private rented sector.
Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy 2017-22.

Use of six stages framework:
The LHEES includes a clear review of South Lanarkshire Council's policies (Stage 1) and the collation and analysis of data about the building stock (Stage 2). The authority-wide setting of aggregate targets (Stage 3) and socio-economic assessment (Stage 4) for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation have not been completed. However, there is some prioritisation of off-gas grid areas for maximising opportunities to install energy efficiency measures (Stage 5) and costing of delivery programmes (Stage 6). 

Contribution to broader LHEES:
The LHEES report explores how the methodology used here could be applied to other sectors. The stages of process outlined are: select sector; identify data available or required; analyse data available; compile work already in place; develop action plan; consider how this fits with other sectors. 

West Lothian Council LHEES Report

The report notes a sectoral approach focusing on SMEs, public sector buildings and off-gas domestic properties. However, there is little detail on SMEs and public sector buildings. There is reference to the 'non-domestic' sector generally, although this remains relatively high level and there is limited data used for this sector. 

In terms of region, the project focuses on: Breich, Newton, Westfield, and Wilkieston, as well as the Breich Valley – noting that these are areas that do not have access to the mains gas network.

Data sources:
Home Analytics; Postcode level energy use data from BEIS
Corporate address gazetteer data from West Lothian Council
EPC data for the non-domestic stock
Scottish House Condition Survey

Additional data collection: 
Stakeholder engagement with members of the council. A survey was developed to collect the views of the non-domestic sector – intended to be circulated using West Lothian Chamber of Commerce mailing list but the survey was never circulated. 

Recommendations made:
Focuses on four areas on the basis that they have a high proportion of off-gas grid properties, but in the recommendations, notes that: "given that many properties have mains gas as their main fuel, few properties were considered suitable for air source heat pumps (13%). This increases substantially (up to 52%) when loosening the criteria for heat pump suitability". It is unclear whether this was the conclusion of the project team (despite this being an off-gas area), or a product of the modelling used (which may not account for off-gas areas). 

A list of addresses studied with potential insulation and heating upgrades, as well as summaries of installations at settlement, output area and data zone level are provided in separate files to the council. 

Overall findings for the domestic sector buildings included (2,736 properties):

  • 27% properties suitable for wall insulation measures (cavity or IWI)
  • Few properties were considered suitable for an air source heat pump (13%). N.B. this does not fit with focus on off-grid areas
  • Approximately half of the properties with no suggested fabric or heating improvement are in EPC D or lower.

Overall findings for non-domestic buildings suggest: "across the sample of properties that have had EPCs conducted there is potential for cavity wall insulation, double/ secondary glazing, heat pumps and solar thermal." (p.26) - 

Relation to existing programmes and West Lothian council activities: 
The report includes a review of West Lothian council policies which include information related to eight themes: domestic energy efficiency; non-domestic energy efficiency; heat decarbonisation; carbon reduction; economic development (specific to low-carbon economy); planning/ development for domestic/ non-domestic buildings; fuel poverty; community engagement. The review identified ambitions for energy efficiency and decarbonisation, but few clear targets from the council, noting:
"The council presents dedicated strategies that address the issues of heat decarbonisation, carbon reduction and community engagement. Nevertheless, overall there are few measurable targets, particularly within the themes of non-domestic energy efficiency, economic development and fuel poverty." (p.13).

Use of six stages framework:
Elements of all 6 stages are included. The setting of aggregate short and long term targets (Stage 3) is limited. Although the report includes a review of existing local and national strategies, the results of the LHEES are not linked back to those strategies. The report includes costing but not phasing of delivery programmes (Stage 6). The calculation of costing is not clear from the report (but this may be included in supplementary guidance shared with the local authority).

Contribution to broader LHEES:
The report focuses on energy improvements in buildings in a rural off-gas area. Less detail is provided on the non-domestic stock. 


Email: lowcarbonfuture@gov.scot

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