Technical Notes 2021, Issue 153 - Consultation on proposed changes to energy standards within Scottish building regulations

Report by: 
Ann Davie, Depute Chief Executive
TN Number: 
153-21
Subject: 
Consultation on proposed changes to energy standards within Scottish building regulations, including related topics such as ventilation, overheating and electric vehicle charging provision
Responsible Officer: 
Heather Holland, Executive Officer – Land Planning & Development
Publication: 
This Technical Note will be published on the Council’s website following circulation to Members. Its contents may be disclosed or shared out with the Council.
Details: 

1. The purpose of this Technical Note is to make elected members aware of the Scottish Government’s proposed changes to the Scottish Building Regulations, and set out the proposed Council response to the consultation.  The consultation includes proposals to change energy standards and covers a range of topics including ventilation, overheating and provision of electric vehicle charging points.   Evolving building regulations will act as a fundamental pillar in the successful delivery of a 75% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, and net zero by 2045 for all buildings.
 

2. Reducing emissions from all buildings to net zero is in line with the national targets, and local policy for supporting these targets will be set out in the Council’s emerging Climate Action Plan (CAP), along with a framework for delivery. The CAP, and associated Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) will provide a pathway and timescale to achieve net zero both within the Council’s own operations and activities and across East Dunbartonshire as a whole.  The anticipated fundamental change in Building Standards will help support our journey towards net zero.  The changes proposed through the current consultation are only a first step and further tightening of the regulations relating to energy efficiency and energy use are expected in future years.  The LHEES will provide policy direction for the improvement of energy efficiency and the transition to renewable heat in existing buildings, complementing the improved standards for new buildings that will be introduced through the revisions to the building regulations. 

The development of these new standards will help to not only address the climate emergency but also tackle the long-term issue of fuel poverty in East Dunbartonshire, and Scotland as a whole. Full details of the consultations can be found at the following:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-building-regulations-proposed-changes-energy-standards-associated-topics/pages/1/

In addition to the proposed changes to the building regulations, the Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust are developing a new Net Zero Public Sector Buildings Standard.  This is a voluntary standard that will support public bodies meet their net zero commitments for their new build and major refurbished infrastructure projects.  Implementation of the Standard will be considered by officers once detailed documentation is made available later this year.  At present, preliminary information on the Standard is available online at https://www.scottishfuturestrust.org.uk/page/net-zero-public-sector-buildings-standard and detailed documentation will be published in November.

3. The Council’s Sustainability Policy Team has coordinated a draft response for the to the consultation paper (Appendix 1), in liaison with the Building Standards team. This draft response notes the environmental, social and economic benefits of the new Building Regulations as well as outlining the challenges involved in undertaking the proposed changes, and makes recommendations on how these could best be achieved, based on local policy and delivery experience.

4. The consultation document is designed to seek input from a variety of stakeholders across several sectors, and the Scottish Government have emphasised that respondents are not expected to answer all questions.  As such, several questions in the draft response have been marked ‘nil response’.

5. Please contact Iain Duke, Iain Duke, Climate Change Policy and SEA Officer (iain.duke@eastdunbarton.gov.uk) by Monday, 1 November should you wish to discuss the Council’s draft response or make any comments on it.

Distribution List: 
All Elected Members, Corporate Management Team, Executive Officers, HSCP Management Team, Corporate Communications