FOI Request - Energy Efficency - Use of Solar Panels and Heat Pumps

Request 101003290681

Purpose: for a book about Climate Change; a chapter on what local authorities are doing; support, funding, barriers etc.
For the minority of councils without dedicated FOI email addresses, could customer/media staff please forward this request. Filling out online forms isn’t viable; it takes many times longer, especially when contacting more than one authority. If I get no information, I’ll just report that.
Background/aim: to find out about recent and planned future works to council homes, or council-owned non-residential buildings, concerning, a) energy efficiency improvements like insulation, b) installation of solar panels, if any, c) installation of Heat Pumps, if any.
Relevant officers: teams dealing with Sustainability/Environment/Climate change might have an overview. A housing team will be aware of works to council homes, and possibly non-residential buildings too. If not, a central property team should.
Relevant periods (recent and flexible): the questions below refer to recent works, and future plans, if any, since climate change policies became a motivator. So I don’t need details of energy efficiency works from years ago. Use whatever start period is convenient, preferably after 2017.

Part 1: council owned non-residential buildings
1. If any non-residential council owned buildings have had energy-related works done already – installing solar panels, heat pumps, or energy efficiency upgrades, brief details would be appreciated; costs, energy savings etc.
2 If details of future plans are known, please briefly report key elements. If not, leave it out.
3. How many major non-residential buildings does the council own? (Offices, leisure centres, housing offices, libraries, community centres, recycling centres etc. No need to make and extensive list of every ‘building,’ regardless of size. For example, a recycling centre may include several small buildings as part of the site. For this purpose that counts as just one building/site)
4. How many major buildings reach different Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) bands, if known? If this isn’t recorded centrally somewhere, just state that.
5. If you have received any government support – UK or Scotland - brief details would be appreciated; amount of grant, type of technical support etc.

Part 2: council homes: solar panels & heat pumps
1. How many council homes does your council own? (A rough figure. Stock changes. Include Arms Length Management Organisations, if relevant). If your council owns no council homes, it would help to know how many were transferred to a housing association.
Solar panels
2. How many blocks/homes have solar panels installed now?
3. If you have plans to install solar panels in future, brief details would be appreciated. (Eg, we plan to install solar panels to 5 blocks by 2030, covering around 200 homes in total. Any convenient period. Whatever’s easiest).
4. How much money have you spent on solar panels? (A rough estimate will do)
5. If you have received any government support for installing solar panels– UK or Scotland - brief details would be appreciated; amount of grant, technical support etc.

Heat pumps
6. How many blocks/homes already have heat pumps installed? (Note: heat pumps can be used in blocks of flats as well as individual homes).
7. If you have plans to install Heat Pumps in future, brief details would be appreciated. (Any convenient period. Whatever’s easiest).
8. How much money have you spent on heat pumps? (A rough estimate will do).
9. If you have received any government support – UK or Scotland - brief details would be appreciated; amount of grant, technical support etc.

Part 3: council homes: energy efficiency (insulation etc)
Background: energy efficiency works can include insulating walls, reducing draft from windows etc.
1. How many of your council homes reach Energy Performance Certificate Band C or above? (Any additional information would help. Eg, currently 55% of our council homes achieve EPC Band C, , with 25% at Band B; and 25% Band D. Only 10 are below Band D level)
2. If you have any future plans to improve energy efficiency of council homes, could you provide brief details; the number of homes covered, and target EPC bands or another measure of heating efficiency. (Eg, we aim for all of our homes to be rated Band C or better by 2025). If planned spending levels are known, estimates would help, and any government support, if already known. If there are no firm plans, leave this out.

Part 4: possible collaborations: energy efficiency, solar panels, and heat pumps
1. Collaborations: with other councils, public bodies, housing associations, or others. If you have collaborated, or plan to in future, brief details would be appreciated. (Eg, bulk purchasing of heat pumps to reduce costs per unit, or using the same contractors/installation engineers for energy efficiency improvements).

Response 04-05-2023

Part 1

1. Since 2017, the Council has not made any major energy related retrofit works. New buildings that have been completed since then have been as built with Solar PV that generates around 3500kWh of electricity per year.

2. Officers are working with consultants to develop a programme of works to improve the energy efficiency of the councils building stock.  This will include but not limited to; LED lighting replacement, Solar PV installations, Building fabric improvements and improved controls.

3.& 4.  The council has around 159 'major' buildings. The EPC bands for these are; 39 'G', 15 of 'F/F+', 43 'E/E+', 32 'D/D+', 25 'C/C+', and 5 'B'.

5. The council is receiving technical support from the Non Domestic Energy Efficiency Support Unit. This is funded by the Scottish Government.

Part 2

1. 6,305

Solar Panels

2. 130

3. Moray Council is committed to Net zero and is currently investigating options for solar PV installation on more properties

4. £300,000 for solar alone

5. 50% funded by Scottish Government via Changeworks 

Heat Pumps

6. 987

7. Anticipate installing 100 ASHP in financial year 2023/24

8. In 2022/23 financial year circa £1.6M was spend installing ASHP into residential properties

9. 50% of the spend in financial year 2022/23 has been funded from government support

Part 3

Council Homes: Energy Efficiency 

1. 92.12% of council properties meet Band D and above, Band E 6.82%, Band F 0.90% and Band G 0.11% with 0.05% exempt

2. We aim to have all homes band D or better by 2025.  Future plans include external wall insulation programmes across the stock to increase EPC ratings.

Part 4

1. The response can be found in our Draft Climate Change Strategy which is published on the council website. This information is therefore exempt under section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, information otherwise accessible. For ease of reference please see a link to the web page here:

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