The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2019 and the Fuel Poverty (Scotland) Act 2019 has committed the Scottish Government to ambitious carbon and fuel poverty reduction targets, respectively.
The Energy Efficient Scotland (EES) government programme addresses carbon emissions and fuel poverty by improving building energy efficiency. One major way in which EES aims to increase building energy efficiency is through setting minimum energy efficiency standards for homes across Scotland.
While minimum standards are already in place for the social housing sector, the introduction of private-rented sector minimum standards has been paused due to the Covid-19 public health crisis and there are currently no standards for owner-occupied homes. However, owner-occupied homes constitute a 68% majority of homes in Scotland. Increasing the energy efficiency of these homes remains a major priority of the EES programme and, by extension, forms a critical part of meeting the national climate change targets.
The Scottish Government recently held an open online consultation on proposals for energy efficiency standards in owner-occupied homes (consultation open from 19 December 2019 – 9 April 2020). In this consultation, the Scottish Government sought feedback on proposals for what a potential energy efficiency standard for these homes could look like and how homeowners could be supported in meeting it.
Energy Saving Trust was commissioned by the Scottish Government to gather additional views on the proposals in the consultation directly from homeowners. The aim of this research was to directly and deeply engage with homeowners of various backgrounds to discuss the proposed law in detail, including their views on how the standard could be implemented. This qualitative research focussed on understanding how the homeowners may view the proposed standard and what they thought it might mean for them. The findings are intended to supplement the findings of the main consultation.