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SFHA welcomes consultation for lowering energy costs

The Scottish Government has published a consultation on updated energy efficiency standards for social housing.

This is following calls from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) for Scottish Government to bring forward the review.

It sets out proposals for a new fabric rating to be introduced, which social housing will need to meet by 2033, and for the replacement of fossil fuel gas and electric heating systems with clean heat alternatives by 2045, such as heat pumps or solar thermal heating. A consultation on Heat in Buildings for the wider housing sector has also been launched at the same time, which will introduce the same backstop of 2045 for the transition to clean heat.

This comes in response to a report by the Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce (ZEST). Co-chaired by Sally Thomas, SFHA CEO, the taskforce called for accelerated review of the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH2), and alignment with Heat in Buildings to provide much needed clarity for social landlords to guide retrofit and investment planning.

SFHA CEO Sally Thomas said:   “Our social homes are already some of the most energy-efficient in Scotland and as a sector we are fully committed to tackling the climate emergency and meeting the country’s net-zero targets. This consultation is an important step in ensuring those targets are fair, affordable and deliverable.

There are approximately 600,000 homes in the Scottish social housing sector, with 500,000 gas boilers which will need to be changed by 2045 to clean heating systems. Social housing therefore has a vital contribution to make to meeting Scotland’s climate change targets, but it must be adequately supported to do so.

“We have been clear from the outset that the costs of this transition must not impact on our members’ ability to maintain affordable rents for their tenants and build the new social homes our country needs, so it’s important now that Scottish Government also outlines how we will adequately fund the transition to clean heat.”

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