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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-23409

  • Asked by: Miles Briggs, MSP for Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 29 November 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Patrick Harvie on 14 December 2023


To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its recently announced proposals for a Heat in Buildings Bill, how many (a) rental properties and (b) privately-owned homes it estimates would have to be retrofitted by 2033 to comply with its proposed measures.


Our consultations on proposals for a Heat in Buildings Bill and a new Social Housing Net Zero Standard are designed to reduce emissions and improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s buildings – helping to deliver a just transition that protects those living in fuel poverty by reducing their energy bills.

We are asking for views on a minimum energy efficiency standard for privately-owned homes and rental properties. This standard would not need to be met by owner occupied homes that have ended their use of polluting heating by 2033.

For those that do need to meet the standard, they could do so by installing a list of straightforward measures (such as loft insulation and draught-proofing) or, alternatively, based on the result of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessment.

The list of measures would prioritise those that could have most impact on reducing a home’s energy demand and therefore energy bills, with the lowest amount of cost and disruption.

According to the most recent representative data from the Scottish House Condition Survey conducted in 2019, the number of dwellings that do not meet the current EPC C or better are:

  • Owner occupied: 910,000
  • Private rented: 187,000
  • Social rented: 281,000

We estimate that a majority of homes would need to take no or very limited action to meet the proposed standard because they will have either already installed as many of the proposed list of measures as are appropriate or possible for their property type, or already meet the minimum level of fabric efficiency. We are undertaking further analysis to quantify the total number of properties across all tenures that will need to take action.

Some homes will have specific characteristics which might affect their ability to meet the standard. For example, traditional properties, which make up a significant proportion of Scotland’s homes and buildings, may have different requirements based on their construction type, location or status (e.g. listed buildings). We are working with partners, including Historic Environment Scotland, to find the best solutions for these buildings while being sympathetic to their character and features.