The Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) aims to improve the energy efficiency of social housing in Scotland. It will help to reduce energy consumption, fuel poverty and the emission of greenhouse gases. It will contribute to reducing carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 in line with the requirements set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Background In June 2012, the Developing an Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing consultation was published alongside the Sustainable Housing Strategy consultation which brings together Scottish Government policies on climate change, housing quality, energy efficiency, fuel poverty, planning and the built environment. It set out a route map and vision to 2030 for high-quality, warm, low-carbon homes. The setting of minimum standards for energy efficiency in the social sector will lead the way in retrofitting Scotlands housing stock and will inform the potential future regulation of private sector housing. A stakeholder working group has been set up to develop a draft standard for public consultation. The group includes representatives from the Scottish Government, the registered social landlords and local authorities and the Energy Savings Trust. It is supported by two sub-groups: a technical group to consider technical measures and their suitability for implementation in social housing and a second group looking at available funding and how the standard will be measured and monitored. Impact Assessments Three impact assessments support the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing: the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA). The SEA, Interim EQIA and partial BRIA were prepared alongside the consultation document. Interested parties were invited to comment on these and all relevant comments received as part of the consultation process helped inform the final assessments. The SEA Post Adoption statement, the final EQIA, EQIA results and BRIA have been completed.
Relevant Funding Sources The EESSH will support the social housing sector to lead the way in the reduction of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. It will also help address fuel poverty levels in the social housing sector. To help social landlords achieve the required ratings a table identifying potential funding sources is available through the EESSH website. The EESSH is based on minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) energy efficiency ratings using SAP 2009 methodology. As SAP 2012 is now being widely used, the Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE) were commissioned to compile a conversion table which details the energy efficiency ratings required to meet EESSH using both SAP 2009 and SAP 2012. My Experience of EESSH Through my current job I have been working directly with some of Glasgow’s largest housing associations, assisting them in the delivery of their EESH targets. We carried out suitability surveys on each housing association’s current stock identifying insulation measures that could be carried out in order to maximise current Energy Company Obligation funding. We then carried out pre installation Energy Performance Certificates to formally identify the measures that would improve the energy efficiency rating of each property. The next step in the process was to present the findings to the Housing Association and agree on a schedule of works. It was decided we would letter tenants individually and also run an article in monthly association newsletter to advise of proposed works. Dedicated contacts between each organisation were set up to deal with tenant queries and complaints. Works began targeting all hard to treat cavity properties identified on the suitability checks. Initially working in partnership with a subcontractors fitting teams progress was slow, with around sixty properties being fitted out with cavity wall insulation over a five month period. It was decided to invest in our own fitting department purchasing a fully equipped cavity insulation wagon. This gave full fitting control to our own internal teams meaning progress in the new year could be picked up significantly. Stage two of the project moved onto fitting other insulation measures including Loft insulation and Floor insulation. The pace of fitting these measures plus additional cavity wall insulation works was much improved with more than three hundred and fifty properties having measures installed over a three month period. Energy efficiency ratings in properties were being improved by as much as thirty five percent in some properties assisting the housing association in delivering their EESH targets. Conclusion The energy efficiency standards for social housing give social landlords clear targets to work towards to improve the energy efficiency of their stock. This benefits associations, landlords and tenants improving the value of homes, increasing their energy efficiency and reducing tenants energy bills. My personal experience of EESSH is that social landlords are working hard to meet these targets taking the standard very seriously, which benefits everyone involved. Read the rest of our blogs and find out more about the services DMS Installers provide on our website.