Scottish landlords have until 2028 to meet energy efficiency standards but can access interest-free loans of up to £15,000 to help them spread the cost.
The Scottish government has published its Heat In Building Strategy setting out that, by 2030, greenhouse gas emissions from homes and buildings must be 68% lower than they were in 2020.
It had been committed to introducing regulations to ensure properties in the private rented sector reach an EPC D by 2025, but now aims to introduce regulations in 2025, requiring them to reach a minimum standard equivalent to EPC C, “where technically feasible and cost-effective”, at change of tenancy, with a backstop of 2028 for all remaining existing properties. All private homes will have to reach that standard by 2033.
The government will continue to offer interest-free loans through Home Energy Scotland, with a commitment to run a cashback scheme, or a grant replacement, until at least 2023, with a further grant scheme to follow.
Green MSP and Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, Patrick Harvie (main pic), promised to invest at least £1.8 billion in heat and energy efficiency projects across Scotland.
But he told MSPs: “We estimate the total investment that will be required to transform homes and buildings across the country to be in excess of £33 billion. We are establishing a new green heat finance task force to identify innovative solutions to maximise private sector investment and find new ways to help to spread the up-front cost of making properties warmer, greener and more energy efficient.”
Daryl McIntosh (picutred), policy manager at Propertymark, says the strategy leaves some previously discussed questions unanswered. He adds: “What’s lacking is detail on the availability of financial support landlords and homeowners can expect to receive.
“There is no mention of a cost cap which was previously discussed. Any new regulations must avoid the unintended consequence of landlords leaving the private rented sector, at a time when they are most needed.”
Read about England’s green homes grants.