SNP/Green energy efficiency requirements for homes could render thousands unsellable in just two years' time – John McLellan

Them’s the rules… Edinburgh Council’s policy on what home improvements are permissible in conservation areas is pretty clear, and UPVC windows are out. Have been for years.

There is therefore no excuse for any supplier to go ahead and fit them in places like Marchmont, where a householder has just fallen foul of the regulations and has been ordered to strip out her non-compliant replacement windows.

But her plight illustrates a serious problem with the drive to net-zero carbon emissions, in that the measures needed to make homes compliant with standards about to be compulsory are hideously expensive. And fitting double glazing, whether timber or UPVC, will not be enough for Victorian tenements to reach the required energy performance certificate (EPC) band C that the SNP-Green administration says will be required by 2033.

Hide Ad

Worse, their plan is to require all homes to meet the band C standard before they can be sold, rendering thousands of Edinburgh homes unsellable or unrentable without potentially ruinous investment. And they want this introduced in two years’ time. If you think I’m making this up, the SNP-Green deal signed 17 months ago couldn’t be clearer in its intention to “require home and building upgrades at the point of sale, change of tenancy, and refurbishment to meet at least EPC C standards or equivalent, on a mandatory basis, from 2025 onwards”.

Many householders face having to increase their energy efficiency rating of their homes (Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

A consultation is promised, but given how impervious to compromise the SNP-Green coalition has been to another part of their agreement, gender recognition reform, don’t expect them to back-pedal on this without a fight.