Energy and Sustainability

The Scottish Government’s  Heat in Buildings Strategy  (published October 2021), sets out a vision for the future of heating Scotland’s buildings including tenants’ homes.  It also sets a pathway towards decarbonisation as we move to net zero emissions by 2045 by gradually but completely moving away from burning fossil fuels for heating.  This is the statutory target set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2019.

At Grampian Housing Association our mission is to ensure that our housing stock meets or exceeds the Scottish Housing Quality Standards and homes achieve an EPC rating of B or be as energy efficient as practically possible by 2032.  Any new homes built from 2025 as a minimum will be at least energy efficient compliant by 2050 and heated using fossil fuel free heat sources.

Our established fabric first approach is critical to the transition by reducing the amount of energy tenants need to use in the first place, making homes warmer and easier to heat and preparing them for zero emissions technologies.  The building fabric refers to the roof, walls, windows, floors and doors of our homes.  We are making smart choices as to which materials we use to make sure tenants’ homes need as little energy as possible to keep them warm and comfortable all year round.  That means choosing the right level performance of insulation in walls, floor and roof, how to reduce draughts and the windows we choose.  We will continue to consult with our tenants to prioritise improvement and investment into the fabric of our homes, for example as we aim to deliver a very significant reduction in our customers demand for energy saving on utility costs.

By 2030 we want to see the majority of our housing stock achieving a good level of energy efficiency, however, fabric improvement alone will not get us close to our targets for net zero. We need a strong focus on heating system change as we look to decarbonise our housing stock and lift people out of fuel poverty. With grant assistance from the Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund 2021 we are planning our first scheme wide decarbonisation project during 2022.

This project will see the reomval of individual gas boilers at Mackenzie Gardens in Turriff that are nearing their replacement date with a zero-emission, Commercial Air Source Heat Pump installation connected to individual properties via a heat network.  Additional energy conservation measures including Solar PV, battery storage, additional insulation measures with remote environmental monitoring will also be installed as part of a retrofit programme.  Savings for each property are expected to be in excess of £145 per year.  This will be confirmed with environmental monitoring and will help prove we can meet 2045 Scottish Government decarbonisation targets, help the environment and still reduce utility costs for tenants as the end users.