Minimum energy efficiency standards in Scotland

The Scottish Government is planning to introduce a minimum energy efficiency standard for buildings in Scotland, similar to what has been introduced in the private rented sector in England and Wales. 

Please note: The information provided on this page has been cited from relevant consultations which have been published by Scottish Government. Official regulations and guidance relating to minimum energy efficiency standards in Scotland are still yet to be published. This page will be updated regularly in line with official announcements and releases from government. Page last updated: 05/04/2019

Energy Efficient Scotland

The key driver behind the introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards in Scotland is the Energy Efficient Scotland programme and its Route Map, published in May 2018. The initial aim of the programme was to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland's buildings by 2040. This aim was accompanied by some steps which outlined how this could be achieved:

  • Improve all Scottish homes to EPC band C (where technically feasible and cost effective) by 2040
  • Maximise the number of social rented homes achieving EPC band B by 2032
  • Improve private rented homes to EPC band E by 2022, band D by 2025 and band C by 2030 (where technically feasible and cost effective)
  • All owner occupied homes to reach EPC band C by 2040 (where technically feasible and cost effective)
  • All homes with households in fuel poverty to reach EPC banenergy ed C by 2030 and EPC band B by 2040 (where technically feasible and cost effective)
  • Assses non-domestic buildings and improve them to an extent which is technically feasible and cost effective by 2040

Private Rented Sector (PRS) Energy Efficiency Standards

The most recent consultation published by Scottish Government in March 2019 is looking at further development of the Energy Efficient Scotland programme, in particular the proposed timeframes for which to deliver the standards for all properties across Scotland.

This consultation confirms that the government are now preparing the legislative components for PRS Energy Efficiency Standards, with the intention to bring forward regulations that would require landlords of privately rented homes to meet minimum EPC standards from April 2020 (rather than 2022 which was the original plan).

Minimum energy efficiency standards would be introduced under Section 55 of the Energy Act 2011, and will require landlords of privately rented homes to ensure their properties meet the minimum standards at a change of tenancy. These standards would be set at EPC band E from 1 April 2020 and EPC band D from 1 April 2022. Under this regulation, the work required to improve the property will be capped at £5,000 to reach each EPC band, and civil fines would be enforced on those who failed to comply.

What is still being consulted on?

Please take note that the government is still consulting on the following areas:

  • The extension of the PRS standard to EPC band C and the porposed date (1 April 2025) for which this standard would be introduced.
  • Using 'change of tenancy' as a trigger to require the increased standard
  • Basing any cost cap for improvement works on a 'definition of cost-effectiveness and technical feasibility' 

Scottish Government intend to publish draft regulations and guidance for consultation in May 2019, and following this will lay the regulations before parliament in the Autumn.

Timeline (Estimated)

This timeline reflects the information provided from the most recent Energy Efficient Scotland consultation and is by no means set in stone.

 2019 

May 2019- Consultation of Draft PRS Energy Efficiency Standards guidance and regulations released 

17th June 2019- Energy Efficient Scotland: consultation on further development of the programme, closes

Autumn 2019- Eneergy efficiency standards regulations to be laid before Scottish Parliament following consultation

 2020 

1st April 2020- it is unlawful for domestic landlords in the private rented sector to grant new leases for properties with an EPC rating below an 'E'.

 2022 

1st April 2022- it is unlawful for domestic landlords in the private rented sector to grant new leases for properties with an EPC rating below a 'D'.

 2025 

1st April 2025- it is unlawful for domestic landlords in the private rented sector to grant new leases for properties with an EPC rating below a 'C'.


Energy Efficiency Standards for Owner Occupied Homes

According to Scottish Government, 61% of all homes in Scotland are owner occupied and only 34% of these have an EPC rating of C or above. The most recent consultation seeks to gain more feedback around enforcing standards for property owners, and has posed the following questions in relation to this area:

1. With regards to achieving an accelerated delivery of the standards proposed, do you think mandatory action for owner occupiers would be required? 

2. What trigger points could be used to require owner occupiers to undertake energy efficiency improvements?

3. When should mandatory energy efficiency targets be introduced for the owner occupied sector? Should they be introduced before 2030?

Open Consultations

Energy Efficient Scotland: consultation of further development of the programme. Closes 17th June 2019. RESPOND HERE >.

 

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