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"A fairer greener Scotland" programme released by Government


The Scottish Government recently released its programme for a fairer, greener Scotland. The programme establishes some of the legislative actions which will be taken in the coming year and beyond, when it comes to achieving net zero, delivering a green economic recovery and supporting communities.

It is evident that the Scottish Government is wanting to move quickly in order to meet the country’s ambition of net zero carbon by 2045. The programme is of particular interest to Elmhurst because it outlines a number of commitments for decarbonising new and existing building stock.

Key highlights from the programme

EPC Band C for Owner Occupied homes

In December 2019, the Scottish government released a consultation which proposed that a mandatory energy efficiency standard should be applied for Scotland’s owner occupied homes from 2024 onwards. Although a significant amount of time has passed, It would seem that this particular proposal remains very much on the Scottish Government’s agenda:

“All home and building upgrades – at the point of sale, change of tenancy, and refurbishment – will be required to meet at least EPC C standards or equivalent from 2025 onwards. And all homes will need to be upgraded by 2033 to ensure we meet our climate targets.”

The government has stated their intention to consult on this proposal next year.

A significant investment in decarbonisation

The government aims to spend a huge £1.8 billion over the course of this parliament to decarbonise 1 million homes (70% socially rented) and the equivalent of 50,000 non-domestic. This will help ensure homeowners, landlords and tenants can access the support they need to adapt their homes/buildings and secure the necessary emissions reduction.

Zero emissions heating in new builds from 2024

It would appear that the government is developing regulations which will require new buildings to use zero emissions heating from 2024. This also reinforces the government’s commitment to review energy standards within current building regulations, in order to deliver further improvement in energy efficiency and emissions reductions in new buildings.

Zero emission social homes by 2026

All new homes delivered by registered social landlords and local authorities will need to be zero emission homes by 2026. More funding is likely to be released in order to achieve this.

Elmhurst’s Managing Director, Stuart Fairlie, welcomes the programme and its commitment:

“The commitments to decarbonise Scotland’s building stock and improve the performance of new and existing properties is welcome. The timeframes provided by government appear to be pretty tight, particularly as the points raised within the programme will first need to be released for public consultation before they become a reality. However, the Government needs to be ambitious if the country has any hope of reaching its net zero carbon ambition.

As we approach the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26), which is due to be held this November, I expect we will be hearing more noise from Scottish Government as to what their plan of action will be when it comes to decarbonising the country”.

Link to “A fairer greener Scotland” programme:  https://www.gov.scot/publications/fairer-greener-scotland-programme-government-2021-22/