Elmhurst respond to Scotland Consultation- SEEP 2017
Elmhurst welcomes the Scottish Government consultation on SEEP, this is the cornerstone for Scotland to achieve its high level climate change targets. It is due to be rolled out in 2018 and the Government want to take industry guidance on a range of subjects referring to energy demand, energy efficiency, and decarbonisation strategies:
The Consultation states:
“The Scottish Government has designated energy efficiency as a National Infrastructure Priority, the cornerstone of which will be Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) – a 15 to 20 year programme. The Programme for Government commits to investing more than half a billion pounds to SEEP over the next four years setting out a clear commitment to develop this programme with substantial annual funding. By 2035, through SEEP we will have transformed the energy efficiency and heating of our buildings so that, wherever technically feasible, and practical, buildings are near zero carbon.”
“This will make our homes, shops, offices, schools and hospitals warmer and easier to heat, and by reducing energy demand, we can help tackle fuel poverty, help businesses improve their energy productivity and competitiveness and release savings in the public sector for front line services.”
Elmhurst as the largest accreditation scheme of energy assessors in the UK; whose members produce more Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for domestic and non domestic buildings in Scotland than anyone else. We are well placed to comment on the future strategy of energy efficiency in Scotland.
Elmhurst have worked with and continue to support the Scottish Government in their endeavour to make buildings in Scotland more energy efficient. Our responses are to build upon the knowledge and base position of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) (the asset rating) and build upon this with occupancy information to ensure that any measures taken are not only fit for the building but crucially that they are correct for the occupants. We know that EPCs exist and we want to ensure now that they are effectively used to drive efficiencies in homes and businesses throughout Scotland.
We are pleased to see that the energy efficiency of buildings in Scotland is getting better and emissions are falling across, commercial buildings, public building and residential homes. The commitment to a plethora of schemes has really started to help drive standards and efficiency savings across the wide spectrum of buildings in Scotland. These are all very welcome, as one policy will never work for all. The policies must be ‘Smart’ and therefore measureable in terms of success. We very much welcome the fact that the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is the benchmark upon which to build these policies. The clear improvements can then by measured and reported back. Setting targets across all building types for the minimum energy rating e.g. C or D is the best way to encourage and regulate energy efficiency action.
EPCs have been identified in the consultation to “have helped raise awareness of energy efficiency of buildings since their introduction”. We at Elmhurst see that the next vital step is getting these professional energy assessors the ability to offer impartial advice to tenants, owners, landlords etc. At the moment they are only allowed to describe what the EPC document displays; we would very much welcome the opportunity to add value to the EPC process, by allowing the Energy Assessors to help individuals or businesses make the right ‘tailoured’ decisions for their home or business. We know that the benchmark of EPC is vital to allow us to measure; but to engage and encourage people to make energy efficiency improvements, the Energy Assessors who cover the whole of Scotland can be the independent voice that allows people to make informed decisions.
We have over 1,600 professional energy assessor members in Scotland (over 8,000 in UK) who can be utilised to ensure that the EPC is acted upon and independent advice can be explained so that families and business owners can make informed choices which is specifically tailoured to their property.
We believe that by engaging local people and expertise, in the form of accredited Energy Assessors, into the energy debate, will we unlock the potential of energy and energy efficiency. Using local Energy professionals to begin the impartial journey towards making choices on their home or building, then the rewards will be greater. We can help bridge this and enable the country to start to make good, smart decisions to reduce energy demand.
Elmhurst welcome the consultation and we hope that our response starts a change towards strategically moving policy and action towards utilising the data that currently exists about homes and businesses and makes a clear path towards giving consumers independent advice, upon which to make the right choices. This will engage people with a process that at the moment is too confusing and not joined up enough. Through our comments we hope to bring the energy efficiency community together, so that families and businesses can properly engage and ultimately start to make their buildings warmer and more efficient.
Scotland Consultation – the deadline is 30th May 2017
You can read the Scotland Consultation here
Full Elmhurst response here