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Energy efficiency standard launched

EESSH expected to save social housing tenants average of £210 each year

A new energy efficiency standard that is expected to save tenants money on their household energy fuel bills is being launched by Housing Minister Margaret Burgess today.

Social housing tenants whose homes meet the new Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) could save an estimated average of £210 per year on their energy bills.

The EESSH aims to improve the energy efficiency of the social housing stock in Scotland, helping to reduce energy consumption, fuel poverty and carbon emissions.

Raising energy efficiency ratings from the existing Scottish Housing Quality Standard to the new EESSH standard is anticipated to save around £130 million in fuel costs in Scotland each year.

It is also expected to reduce annual carbon emissions from housing by 760Kt CO2, which is more than the annual emissions from all the households in Aberdeen and Dundee combined.

The Minister will officially launch the standard during a visit to a housing association development in Linwood this morning, which has benefited from investment through Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS).

Speaking ahead of the visit, she said: “Achieving the new Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing is expected to save social housing tenants £210 annually on average, helping to reduce the impact of rising energy prices.

“In addition to helping to reduce fuel poverty, the EESSH will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute towards ambitious climate change targets.

“Scotland is outperforming the UK in the delivery of home energy efficiency measures that save tenants money, and the introduction of this standard will help enhance our performance for many of the poorest households in Scotland.

“Nonetheless, rising energy prices remain a huge concern for this government, and we will spend almost a quarter of a billion pounds over a three year period on fuel poverty and energy efficiency.

“While we have managed to help thousands of households in Scotland to have warmer, more energy efficient homes, with independence we would be able to change the way energy efficiency is funded to help even more people.”

David Stewart, Policy Manager at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said:

“We know from our work with housing associations and co-operatives across Scotland that energy efficiency is a significant issue.

“While our members have the most energy efficient homes in Scotland, rising fuel prices have pushed the issue up the agenda, and when we consulted with members on the proposed energy efficiency standards, there was agreement that there needs to be a standard set in order to help address fuel poverty.

“Setting the standards will result in carbon savings and will reduce fuel bills for tenants whose homes don’t currently meet the standard.

“The big issue now is making sure that there is funding available to ensure that the standards can be met – we have seen from the proposed changes to the UK Government’s Energy Company Obligation that sourcing funding for energy efficiency can be a challenge.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government on this issue, and looking at drawing in other sources of funding, such as European Union grants.”

Notes To Editors

Link to EESSH website http://www.energyefficientsocialhousing.org

  • The EESSH forms part of the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Housing Strategy published in June 2013
  • Social landlords will be expected to meet the first milestones by December 2020. These are based on minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) energy efficiency ratings, which will vary depending on the house type and source of fuel used to heat the dwelling
  • Landlords will have access to funding available through UK and Scottish Government schemes such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Home Energy Efficiency Programmes Scotland (HEEPS)
  • The EESSH will replace the minimum energy efficiency ratings included within the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) that social housing must meet by April 2015
  • Compliance with the EESSH will be monitored by the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) as is already the case with the SHQS

(To note: The thumbnail image used is courtesy of IRT Surveys Ltd. www.irtsurveys.co.uk)

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