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Improving fabric insulation and installing renewable heating (microgeneration) are essential steps to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the climate emergency. Insulation also helps to lower fuel poverty and ensures that running costs for heating are affordable, improving the level of comfort within households.

Insulating homes has never been more important. Heating costs have risen in recent years, stretching the budgets of millions of families. The UK Government’s research briefing on fuel poverty notes that approximately 13% of households in England were classed as fuel poor, 25% in Scotland, 12% in Wales, and 18% in Northern Ireland. Find out more on how fuel poverty is measured across the UK at the UK Office for National Statistics.

The energy efficiency of a property is recorded in its energy performance certificate (EPC). This is needed whenever a property is built, bought, or sold, and lasts for 10 years. The EPC rating ranges from A to G, with the most energy efficient homes gaining an A rating, and the least a G rating. Older properties typically have poorer EPC ratings.

Details of a property’s EPC rating are available online via the Scottish register.

Installer installing insulation, wearing hat, masks and gloves

The Scottish Government’s proposed long-term energy performance standards for homes in Scotland are as follows:

  • By 2030 a large majority of homes should achieve an EPC rating of C with all homes meeting this standard by 2033.
  • The energy efficiency standard for social housing aims to maximise the number of socially rented homes achieving EPC B by 2032.
  • Privately rented homes to reach a minimum standard of EPC C from 2025 (where technically possible and cost-effective) at the change of tenancy, with a deadline of 2028 for all remaining existing properties.