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Scottish Government consults on new energy standards


The Scottish Government has released a consultation on proposed changes to energy standards within Scottish building regulations. The consultation also includes related topics such as ventilation, overheating and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

This forms part of Scotland’s long term strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.


This 100+ page consultation is split into different parts. These include:

  • Energy, new buildings
  • Energy, all buildings
  • Ventilation
  • Overheating risk in new dwellings and other new residential buildings
  • Improving and Demonstrating Compliance
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Elmhurst is yet to review the consultation in full but has highlighted some of the key proposals which have been made:

  • Introduction of a new energy target in addition to the current emissions target- Should this energy target be primary or delivered energy?
  • Uplift to 2015 standards for new dwellings of either 32% or 57% emissions reduction
  • Uplift to 2015 standards for non-domestic buildings of either 16% or 25% emissions reduction
  • Move towards airtightness testing for all new dwellings
  • Introduction of the pulse test as an alternative method for airtightness testing
  • Incorporation of the ‘domestic ventilation guide’ into the Technical Handbooks
  • Introduction of a requirement to assess and mitigate summertime overheating risk in new homes and new non-domestic buildings

Timeline for implementation

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, it has been proposed that amendments to energy standards, ventilation and overheating will be revised within building regulations and supporting guidance in late 2021, with an aim to bring these changes into force in 2022.

The Scottish Government has also clarified that the proposals for electric vehicle charging provision in new buildings will be subject to further development and will likely require more time for implementation.

Stuart Fairlie, Technical and Operations Director at Elmhurst “We are delighted to see Scottish Government set out this vital consultation on new energy standards for Scottish buildings. It is great to see that ventilation and overheating is also covered within the scope, to ensure that as building fabrics become more air tight due to energy efficiency requirements, that the consequences on inhabitants in terms of fresh air and overheating in warmer months is not forgotten about. We will as always fully analyse all the documents and will engage with our professional membership in terms of responding accordingly.”

This consultation will be open for 12 weeks until the 15th October 2021. Elmhurst will now spend some time review the consultation in full and will be releasing an official response soon.

Link to consultation: https://consult.gov.scot/local-government-and-communities/building-regulations-energy-standards-review/

Response deadline: 15th October 2021