Housing associations and co-operatives already have a strong track record on energy efficiency and have the most energy efficient homes in Scotland. This has been driven by the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing which was introduced in 2014 with an initial milestone set for December 2020.
The vast majority of social homes met this first milestone and a second milestone (EESSH2) has also now been set requiring all social housing to meet, or be treated as meeting, EPC Band B (Energy Efficiency rating), or is as energy efficient as practically possible, by the end of December 2032 and within the limits of cost, technology and necessary consent.
In addition, the Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy outlines the need for accelerated deployment of low and zero emissions heating systems as part of Scotland’s wider ambition to become a ‘net zero nation’. This includes an overall ambition for all homes in Scotland to significantly reduce their energy use and transition to decarbonised forms of heat by 2045. Further information can be found in our member briefing.
SFHA represents members interests in this area and recently co-chaired the Zero Emissions in Social Housing Taskforce (ZEST) which set out some of wider challenges facing social landlords and their tenants in relation to energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation. Particular concerns have been raised regarding the appropriateness of the current EESSH2 target in achieving net zero objectives and ensuring positive outcomes for tenants and ZEST has called for the planned review of EESSH2 to brought forward. Scottish Ministers have been presented with the findings and have committed to full consideration of the recommendations.
Although some funding options are currently available to social landlords, including the Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund which is now open to applications, SFHA is continuing to campaign for increased investment which can distributed fairly across the sector based on need.
The SFHA also supports members by publishing research and briefings as wells as responding to relevant consultations.
We also represent members on the Existing Homes Alliance, an organisation which lobbies for higher energy efficiency standards in existing homes and increased funding for retrofit activity.
The SFHA also provides opportunities for knowledge exchange and networking through a quarterly Energy Forum and other events.
Changeworks and Warmworks
Our strategic partners Changeworks and Warmworks can also support members with various aspects including feasibility studies, option appraisals, preparing funding applications, technical consultancy, project management, resident engagement and monitoring and evaluation. Further information can be found here or use this contact form to get in touch directly.