The UK-wide Energy Act 2011 has given the Government powers to set a minimum energy performance for all rented and commercial buildings in England, Wales and Scotland.
In England and Wales, all rented properties (domestic and non-domestic) must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of level E or above for new lettings or renewals after 1st April 2018, and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020.
No mandatory legislation has been introduced for private landlords in Scotland. However, the introduction of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) regulations means that by the end of December 2020, no house in Scotland under the management of social landlords should have an EPC rating below C or D, with the exact target depending on the house type.
What is EESSH?
Developed by the Scottish Government, EESSH sets the minimum energy efficiency standard for social housing. The new standard is based on minimum energy efficiency (EE) ratings that are found on EPC. Grade A is the most energy efficient rating with a score of 92% or higher and the least energy efficient is between 1-20% or grade G.
What do landlords need to become compliant?
According to the Scottish Government, 64% of social housing is already compliant with the EESSH regulations. That leaves 218,000 social houses in need of some level of upgrade and there is a range of energy efficiency measures available to landlords to help meet the new regulations.
Installing a solar PV system is a cost-effective way for landlords to meet EESSH targets with minimal disruption to their residents and can increase an EPC score between five and 20 points depending on the system size and the roof area.
Solar thermal can be installed as part of a heating upgrade or hot water cylinder replacement at a greatly reduced cost compared to a standard retrofit.
How will tenants benefit?
Figures released by the Scottish Government in 2014 showed that 34.9% of Scottish households are in fuel poverty and 9.5% are in extreme fuel poverty.
A household is in fuel poverty if it is required to spend more than 10% of its income (including housing benefit or income support for mortgage interest) on household fuel use. A household is in extreme fuel poverty if the figure is higher than 20%.
The introduction of the new EESSH regulations will see tenants benefit from warmer homes and reduced heating bills. According to the Scottish Government, this could mean a reduction in energy costs for tenants across Scotland in the region of £127 million each year.
Introducing clean green energy to social housing will not only help meet the new EESSH regulations but will also cause minimal disruption to tenants and minimal cost to landlords.
For more information, on how our energy team can help you become EESSH compliant please call 0141 435 7774 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.