A review of the energy standards of the Scottish Building Regulations has commenced. This review is considering the next steps to further enhance the energy performance of buildings and contribute to greenhouse gas abatement targets set under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The first stage of this review is to consider the effectiveness and impact that the 2015 energy standards, and the supporting guidance, had, or continues to have, on industry in delivering energy efficient buildings. Feedback received through this call for evidence will be considered in the next stage of the review. Please note this consultation will run for a period of 12 weeks.
Scottish Government 25th June 2018 read more »
Analysis by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Energy Action Scotland, and Renfrewshire Council found that reconceptualising fuel poverty as a complex social problem – and not just a lack of cash – could be used to drive tailored and holistic ‘folk-first’ solutions. The latest figures showed 649,000 households were classed as being in fuel poverty in 2016. Dr Keith Baker of GCU, who led the research, said: “Most countries that recognise the condition of fuel or energy poverty use definitions based on the ‘10 per cent of income’ definition formalised by Professor Brenda Boardman of Oxford University in 1991. “However, this definition is limited by the use of a single, blunt threshold for household expenditure on energy costs, usually for heating, set against the modelled amount of energy needed to maintain the minimum indoor temperatures recommended by the World Health Organisation. “This methodology has led to a focus on a building’s energy performance and the occupants’ household income which, serves to drive ‘fabric-first’ solutions. This way of tackling the problem prioritises the elimination of poor energy efficiency as a way of dealing with fuel poverty, at the expense of more holistic interventions. The research team also argue that understanding fuel poverty in the Scottish context should include acknowledging that the energy spend gap between households in rural and island areas and those in Scotland’s towns and cities urban areas is greater than official statistics suggest. In May, some 50 organisations from across Scotland have joined forces to call for “real action” from the government in tackling fuel poverty.
Scotsman 18th July 2018 read more »
Pedro Guertler, senior policy advisor at green thinktank E3G, welcomed the focus on fuel poverty, longer term outlook and reconfiguration of ECO’s rules, but warned the amount of energy efficiency investment in the scheme remained “far short of what is needed to meet fuel poverty targets”. “At least twice as much support is needed for low income households who struggle with their energy bills,” he said. “Energy efficiency is the only permanent solution to fuel poverty. The governments of Scotland and Wales grasp this, who, including ECO support, invest four times and twice as much per capita respectively in low income household energy efficiency as is invested in England. He added: “The CCC recently reported that home insulation rates have crashed by 95 per cent since 2012. The new ECO will drive just one eighth of the insulation rate that the National Infrastructure Commission says is needed from 2020 to decarbonise our energy system at no extra cost to households. The government needs to prepare a comprehensive energy efficiency infrastructure action plan that delivers this and meets its Clean Growth Strategy ambitions.”
Business Green 19th July 2018 read more »
The remaining potential for energy savings in UK households. Progress on improving energy efficiency of UK homes has stalled in recent years and the question arises how much more potential for further energy savings exist across the housing stock. Whilst there are some high-level estimates of the potential for buildings energy efficiency in the UK, a more granular assessment is needed to understand exactly where this potential lies and what form it takes. Our analysis fills this gap. It is based on the best available evidence on the remaining potential for energy efficiency improvements within UK residential buildings. Using UK government criteria for investment appraisal, we demonstrate that there is a significant resource of untapped energy-saving opportunities in UK homes. Specifically, our estimates suggest that: one quarter of the energy currently used in UK households could be cost effectively saved by 2035; and this could increase to one half if allowance is made for falling technology costs and the wider benefits of energy efficiency improvements. However, these estimates are sensitive to the assumptions made about capital, energy and carbon costs, and capturing this potential will require both significant policy change and large-scale investment.
Energy Policy (accessed) 21st July 2018 read more »