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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-21288  

  • Asked by: Sarah Boyack, MSP for Lothian, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 20 September 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Patrick Harvie on 4 October 2023


To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its reported plans to amend the Energy Performance (EPC) system, what consideration it has given to how to deal with properties that are off grid, and whose EPC rating may change depending on gas costs, and whether any such properties will be penalised.


Earlier this year, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) wrote to the Scottish Government setting out a series of recommendations for the reform on EPCs, noting that the current energy efficiency rating on EPCs is a measure of energy costs, not energy efficiency. Homes with lower EPC ratings are more likely to use expensive heating fuels, and this is often the case for off-gas grid properties. So, they can be relatively well insulated but still receive a low EPC rating. In addition, if fuel costs change in the underlying methodology used to generate EPCs, the energy efficiency rating for a property could change.

In response to this advice from the CCC, the Scottish Government published a consultation on EPC reform on 25 July 2023. Our proposals include the addition of a new metric of fabric efficiency - how well the building retains heat. This proposed metric will be independent of the heating fuel used in a property. This metric, alongside the existing cost based metric and information on the heating source will provide a more a holistic reflection of a dwelling’s energy performance.

There is no proposal within our EPC Reform consultation to penalise any property. Rather, our proposals for reform should ensure that current and prospective building owners and tenants have better information on the energy performance and emissions of their building and how this could be improved.