Section 6: Energy Consultation Bulletin

The Scottish Government recently released the much-anticipated consultation on the proposed changes to the energy standards within the Scottish Building Regulations.

The consultation included numerous updates to the current building standards and relates to topics such as energy efficiency, air testing, ventilation, overheating and electric charging points.

SK/AD will continue to review the information released by the Scottish Government but below are some of the key proposals:

  • An uplift to the 2015 standards for new dwellings of either 32% or 57% emissions reduction.
  • Uplift to 2015 standards for non-domestic buildings of either 16% or 25% emissions reduction.
  • A new metric for measuring energy performance in new buildings
  • Commissioning of installed systems with confirmation of commissioning provided on completion of the building.
  • Moving towards air tightness testing all new dwellings as opposed to the current 1/20 rule.
  • The introduction of a requirement to assess and mitigate summertime over heating risk in both domestic and non-domestic buildings.
  • Uplifts of backstop U-value requirements and minimum efficiencies on heating and ventilation systems.
  • Installation of electric vehicle charging points for all new build dwellings.

When are the proposed amendments expected to come into effect?

Depending on the outcome of the consultation, it has been proposed that the amendments to the energy standards, ventilation and overheating will be revised within building regulations and supporting guidance in late 2021, with an aim to bring these changes into force in 2022.

What are the new metrics for assessing energy performance in new dwellings?

The consultation has put forward two proposals for assessing energy performance, one of which will likely to be included in the updated Section 6 (Energy) Building Regulations. These metrics are Primary Energy Demand and Delivered Energy.

What is primary energy demand?

Primary energy is defined as “energy from renewable and non-renewable sources which has not undergone any conversion or transformation process”
Primary energy takes into consideration the impact of the upstream activities involved with the production and processing such as:

  • Planting of biofuel sources
  • Cultivation of biofuel sources
  • E×traction of fuels
  • Processing of fuels (e.g. cleaning, grading)
  • Transformation of fuels
  • Transportation of raw and refined products
  • Transmission and distribution losses

Within Annex 1 of the 2018 amendment to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, a requirement for Member states to include a primary energy metric for compliance with minimum energy performance standards was added. This requirement is currently being considered as one of the key metrics for implementation by the UK administrations.

What is delivered energy?

Alternatively, another metric has been proposed, which assess the calculated delivered energy needed for a new building. Due to the upstream activities involved with certain fuels, a primary energy target can have a differing impacts a dwellings performance depending on the fuels used.
Within the consultation, delivered energy is defined as “the amount of energy that needs to be supplied to the building from external sources, less any offsetting of that demand from the generation of energy or heat onsite from renewable sources”
It is the delivered energy total for each fuel supplied to a building to which primary energy and emissions factors are applied.

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