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Scottish homeowners unaware of energy requirements - warning

Homeowners in ESPC’s core territories (Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders) are not aware of the full extent of the Scottish Government’s expectations when it comes to the proposed net-zero targets for owner-occupied properties, the portal suggests.

Its research indicates that the Scottish Government needs to go much further with promoting, educating and informing homeowners and aspiring homeowners about the implications and expenses of meeting the proposed new standards for energy efficiency. As part of the stringent targets set by the Government, homeowners would be expected to ensure their homes meet a minimum standard of an EPC rating of C by 2033. 

The data comes from independent market research conducted by Progressive in March and April 2024, where more than 500 homeowners were spoken to in on-street surveys in towns and city centres across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders, and a further 272 homeowners from the same regions completed an online version of the survey.


The research found that four in five homeowners were aware of the Scottish Government’s net-zero targets. However, homeowners (86%) were more likely to know this than first-time buyers (73%), suggesting promotion and education is required to reach this group who will be most adversely impacted in terms of expense. 

Around half of homeowners and first-time buyers were not aware of the details of an EPC rating or had never heard of an EPC, while 73% of homeowners surveyed said they weren’t aware of the Government plans to introduce mandatory minimum standards of energy efficiency for owner-occupied properties.

Just 7% of participants could correctly identify the minimum proposed EPC rating of C.

Paul Hilton, chief executive of ESPC, said: “With so much discussion in the press and in the housing industry around the Scottish Government’s net zero targets, it could be easy to assume that everyone is on the same page and understands the expectations and the implications that meeting these targets carries.

“However, it’s clear to see from this independent market research that the Government has a long way to go in terms of educating and informing the very homeowners that will be liable for meeting these standards, and for the costs involved in doing so. This research has revealed that great swathes of homeowners are not fully aware of the costs involved or the enforcements that are forthcoming.

“At ESPC, we have long been advocating for better support for homeowners on the path to meet the net zero targets, and this research highlights how desperately that support is needed – not just financially, but also in terms of making the guidelines, or laws, as they soon may be, accessible and comprehensive across the board. Much more education is required if the Government truly expects homeowners to meet these standards in the proposed timeline.”


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