Housing and Environmental Sustainability

Housing with a high standard of insulation and efficient heating systems will reduce energy use and result in lower greenhouse gas emissions. New building on brownfield sites and on sites close to centres of employment will reduce land take and will help to minimise car-based commuting. New building and some major renovation projects may provide opportunities for using natural processes for drainage, the use of sustainable building materials, improved waste management, improved biodiversity and maximising the use of passive energy.

Recommendations

  1. 39

    The Scottish Government should seek to ensure stability in its grant offer to private owners and seek to rationalise grant provided from the different sources.

  2. 40

    The Scottish Government should review the funding required to meet its 2030 milestone of delivering a step change in the provision of energy efficient homes.

  3. 41

    The Scottish Government should encourage councils to select a wider range of neighbourhoods for area-based grant funding - including older private sector flats.

  4. 42

    Regulations requiring owners to insulate their homes should have a part to play in securing the necessary improvement in insulation standards. Regulation should be directed at achieving stretching but practical levels of insulation, although there may need to be a system of exemptions for properties that cannot be improved up to that level without disproportionate cost. Assistance should be available for low-income owners. Owners on low incomes but with significant assets might be offered loans to be repaid when the house is sold.

  5. 43

    The Scottish Government should redesign the energy report, especially if regulations are introduced to require energy efficiency improvements to be made at the point of sale.

  6. 44

    The Scottish Government should clarify the future development of micro and community heat technology in the longer term beyond 2020 – in particular, whether it is expected to remain a niche opportunity for a small number of homes or an option which they hope will be taken up on a much wider scale and, if the latter, how they hope to achieve this.

  7. 45

    There should be a review of other building standards to make sure that they encourage sustainable design and building and take sufficient account of design concepts such as 'lifetime' and 'barrier free' housing intended to make homes better adapted to the needs of an aging population.

  8. 46

    Social landlords and councils should look carefully at proposals for demolitions to ensure that they can be justified.


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