Warmer Homes Scotland - first annual review

Annual review of our Warmer Homes Scotland scheme, looking at delivery from September 2015 to March 2016.

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Our brief

The Scottish Government has commissioned Pennington Choices Ltd ( PCL) to undertake a measure specification audit on the Scottish Government's new national fuel poverty scheme (Warmer Homes Scotland). Since it's inception a number of technical challenges have arisen that have affected the implementation of the scheme. It has at times been difficult for Warmworks to identify appropriate measures for some households. These have generally been off-gas rural properties. In addition, regulation changes to oil tanks have resulted in some installs not proceeding as customers were unable to replace tanks before installs could take place for various reasons.

The overarching purpose of the audit is to determine whether or not the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme contains the most appropriate suite of measures to achieve its key objectives of reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions; and improving the housing stock. The audit will also determine whether the technical specification of each measure is still appropriate. PCL will make recommendations for any amendments, additions or discontinuation of measures offered that would be beneficial.

The audit is to focus on the following key areas:

  • Measure suitability and mix
  • Non-specified measures
  • The regulatory environment

The review was commissioned in July 2016, with an expected completion date set for September 2016.

1.2 Methodology & Scope

The initial audit has been undertaken by the following individuals:

Staff member Position
Matt Corry (MC) Head of Survey Services
Shirley Quinn (SQ) Project Manager
Ben Davidson (BD) Building Surveyor

The audit included onsite reviews, live data interrogation and additional desktop analysis where required.

The scope of service is provided below in more detail:

1. Measure suitability and mix - A review of the suitability of each measure currently available through the scheme in terms of the energy efficiency savings delivered, their carbon footprint and their price, and make recommendations for any clarifications, improvements, amendments or discontinuation of part or all of a measure as deemed to be appropriate. This assessment will also identify any additional potential energy efficiency measures that would cost less than £25,000 that could practically be offered through the scheme. The assessment of these will be presented using the same analytical approach to the assessment of the current measures to aid comparisons.

2. Non-specified measures - When the scheme opened, a number of measures within the contract had not yet been specified. A draft specification has been produced by the Scottish Government's previous technical support. Our assessment will review these specifications and suggest refinements where deemed beneficial in terms of clarity or technical competence.

3. The regulatory environment - This part of the assessment will look at any changes to the regulatory environment that the scheme operates within since its initial development in 2015; and identify any changes to the scheme that are recommended as a result. Specifically, we will confirm whether all regulatory requirements are fully accounted for and make recommendations for any current/future requirements that should be accommodated. As part of the review we will consider regulations around oil tanks and the likely implications of the proposed VAT changes consulted on by DECC in late 2015/ early 2016.

The key members of Warmworks staff that we have been able to work with in relation to the initial audit are as follows:

Staff member Position
Ross Armstrong (RA) Contracts Director
Nicola McLeod (NM) Operations and Supply Chain Manager
Simon Dawe (SD) Financial Controller

1.3 Report structure

The outcome of the assessment will be reported firstly to the Scottish Government's identified contract manager. The report will then be shared with the HEEPS Delivery Board and Warmer Homes Scotland Strategic Board.

1.4 Project oversight

The review has been overseen by a group of senior Scottish Government staff, consisting of:

Staff member Position
Fiona Quinn (FQ) Head of HEEPS National Schemes
Joanne Wright (JW) Project Manager

The group was involved in developing and agreeing the brief and providing supporting information relating to the original technical specification for the scheme.


Back to top