Proposed changes to the energy performance certificate ("EPC") provided when a property is put on the market have been put out to views by the Scottish Government in a new consultation.

Ministers are considering how to use EPCs to regulate and encourage change as a key part of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2045.

The proposals would change the way information already gathered as part of an EPC assessment is displayed on the EPC. The Energy Efficiency Rating would be renamed the Energy Cost Rating, and used to inform owners and tenants of the indicative impact of the recommended energy efficiency and heating measures on their energy bills, while also identifying those homes where any increase in running costs resulting from moving to a zero emissions system could not be mitigated by improvements to building fabric – acting as a signpost for potential government support.

The Environmental Impact Rating would become a Carbon Emissions Rating, providing an understanding of the carbon emissions associated with heat supply to the dwelling, and an indication of how energy efficiency measures and heating systems can reduce emissions to zero.

In addition there would be created a new Energy Use Rating. This would inform dwelling owners about the energy use of their property, including heating and ventilation, providing additional information to complement the energy running costs and carbon emissions associated with a dwelling. It would also assist with informed decision by displaying how energy efficiency measures and heating systems could reduce energy use.

Consultees are asked whether they agree with the name changes and with the proposed additional rating, and with a new format and presentation of the certificate.

"Reducing emissions from our homes and buildings is one of the most important things we can do to help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change", Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson writes in the foreword to the consultation.

"In order to realise our climate ambitions and provide long-term certainty to home owners, landlords, owners of non-domestic premises and public sector buildings, we will introduce new regulations to set standards for zero emissions heating and energy efficiency, where it is within our legal competence, between 2023 and 2025. Setting standards through these regulations will require a robust assessment system and we propose to reform the current energy performance certificate to this end."

Click here to access the consultation. Responses are due by 8 October 2021.