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Scottish House Condition Survey - News


This page outlines news and announcements about the Scottish House Condition Survey, including updates to the SHCS website.

If you want to keep up-to-date with SHCS news and developments, register your interest in 'Population and Household Surveys' through the ScotStat Register.

Latest News

February 2019

Scottish House Condition Survey

The Scottish House Condition Survey Local Authority tables from data years 2015-2017 were published on Tuesday 26th February 2019.


December 2018

Scottish House Condition Survey: 2017 Key Findings

The Scottish House Condition Survey: 2017 Key Findings report was published on 4th December. The Local Authority tables for the period 2015-2017 will be released on the 26th February 2019.


February 2018

Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) Users Feedback

The SHCS team are seeking views on their 2016 publications and on the future SHCS reporting.

Please give us your comments and suggestions, and help shape the look of future Scottish House Condition Survey reports, by completing this short survey https://response.questback.com/scottishgovernment/shcs

Scottish House Condition Survey

The Scottish House Condition Survey Local Authority tables from data years 2014-2016 were published on Tuesday 27th February 2018, along with routine updates and minor revisions applied to historical datasets.


February 2017

Scottish House Condition Survey

The Scottish House Condition Survey Local Authority tables from data years 2013-2015 were published on Tuesday 28th February 2017.


January 2017

Scottish Household Survey question review

The questions in the Scottish Household Survey, which also contains the Scottish House Condition Survey social interview questions, are now being reviewed.  Additionally, there are 20 core questions included in every Scottish Government Social Survey, known as the Scottish Survey Core Questions (SSCQ).  These questions are also being reviewed.  Instructions on how to participate in the review are contained here.  If you have any views you’d like to contribute to the review action is required.  Please do ask the Scottish Household Survey  team  - SHS@gov.scot – if you have any questions.


December 2016

Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS): Key Findings Report 2015

The 2015 SHCS Key Findings Report was published on Tuesday 6th  December 2016. The Local Authority tables for the period 2013-2015 will be released before the end of February 2017.


March 2016

Scottish House Condition Survey, Key Findings Reports 2014 & 2013

Please note that an error in the description of household types used in these reports has been discovered.  Detailed information is available in Revisions and Corrections.


January 2016

Scottish House Condition Survey

The Scottish House Condition Survey Local Authority tables from data years 2012-2014 was published on Friday 29th January 2016


November 2015

Short delay to the publication of the Scottish House Condition Survey, Key Findings 2014 Report

The Scottish Government will now publish the  'Scottish House Condition  Survey, Key Findings 2014 Report' on Tuesday 15th December, a week later than previously announced. This short delay is required to enable the team to complete quality assurance of underlying data and calculations used to generate results used in the report. This report will contain updates on Fuel Poverty, Energy Efficiency, Condition and Key Attributes of Scottish Housing.


November 2015

Methodological Changes to Scottish House Conditions Survey Estimates of Fuel Poverty

On 8 December 2015 Scottish Government will publish ‘Scottish House Condition  Survey, Key Findings 2014 Report’.  This publication will include revised estimates of  fuel poverty for the period 2011 – 2013 which incorporate improvements to the method for determining the cost of the energy required to achieve a standard level of warmth and other types of energy use. This improvement will be implemented for the 2014 fuel poverty estimates which will be published at the same time.

The improvement involves two types of methodological change. The first relates to the contribution of the Warm Homes Discount (WHD) scheme, which has been in operation since 2011.  Under the scheme vulnerable households receive an energy bill rebate, which has not been previously taken into account in estimating the number of fuel poor households in Scotland. This is now incorporated into the method for the first time.    

The second methodological improvement involves the use of more appropriate sources of information and assumptions about the cost of fuel for Scottish households.  It represents a move away from using average UK prices to prices charged in Scotland, or within regions of Scotland, where possible. It also attempts to take into account the difference in price associated with different methods of paying for energy.  Instead of prices reflecting only standard credit payment rates,  the new method uses a weighted average of three different methods of payment, standard credit, direct debit and prepayment. There are more minor additional changes, such as the use of annual averages instead of point-in-time information on prices.  

These methodological changes represent improvements to the accuracy with which fuel poverty statistics reflect the experience of households in Scotland. They bring the methodology for costing the fuel poverty energy requirement closer to the approach used by DECC in producing fuel poverty statistics for England.  

The new methodology leads to lower estimates of fuel cost and therefore levels of fuel poverty.  The maximum reduction in the number of fuel poor households  observed over the 2011 – 2013 period as a result of the method is in the region of  around 80,000 households (equivalent to around 3% of all households).  The changes associated with the price of fuel account for most of the reduction with a small effect attributed to the bill rebate received under the WHD scheme. 

The SHCS Key Findings Report 2014 will present revised estimates of fuel poverty   for 2011 to 2013, along with the latest estimates for 2014. In addition, the separate technical report will provide more details on the new methodology and its impact.


December 2014

Key Findings and Local Authority Tables Published

On 9 December 2014, Scottish Government published the ‘Scottish House Condition Survey, Key Findings 2013 Report’.

For summary information click here. The full report is available here.


November 2014

Methodological Changes to Scottish House Conditions Survey Estimates on Fuel Poverty, Energy Efficiency and Carbon Emissions.

On 9 December 2014 Scottish Government will publish ‘Scottish House Condition  Survey, Key Findings 2013 Report’.  This publication will include revised estimates of energy efficiency, carbon emissions and fuel poverty.

The Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) is moving to a new, updated methodology for assessing the energy efficiency performance of the housing stock. This methodology is based on the most recent version of the BRE Domestic Energy Model, BREDEM 2012, which reflects the current industry standard of assessing home energy performance.  The improvement incorporates several years of cumulative change since the original BREDEM-12 - based energy model was adopted for use in the SHCS and will affect all estimates relating to energy efficiency, carbon emissions and fuel poverty.

The updated method predicts higher levels of heat loss in dwellings, and therefore greater demand for energy due to changes in the treatment of thermal bridging and other methodological improvements.

This will lead to higher estimates of fuel costs and therefore higher levels of fuel poverty. An additional 5 to 8 percent of households are currently estimated to be in fuel poverty compared to previously published figures for the period between 2010 and 2012, though the impact will vary across individual years. This represents the cumulative impact of all the methodological improvements.

Estimates of carbon emissions will also increase as a result of this methodological change and the use of updated SAP 2012 based carbon intensity factors.

Energy efficiency ratings will be produced through the use of SAP 2009 based models, and will not be directly comparable to the previous SAP 2001 and SAP 2005 based statistics.

There will be other minor changes to statistics relating to Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) compliance and levels of disrepair which involve small improvements to the method of derivation.

The SHCS Key Findings Report 2013 will present revised estimates of energy efficiency, fuel poverty and carbon emissions for 2010 to 2012, along with the latest estimates for 2013. In addition, there will be a separate technical report providing more details of the impact of the new methodologies.


August 2014

Local Indicators of Fuel Poverty

Report on research investigating the development of local measures of fuel poverty was published on 5 August 2014.

The research was undertaken under the Quality Improvement Fund of the UKSA.

The full methodology report and the outputs from the research.


March 2014

SHCS Open Access Datasets Published Online

SHCS data is now available under Open Government License from the SHCS website, enabling users to produce national estimates on a wide range of topics.

Each year of the annual SHCS is provided in three CSV format datasets: 2003/4 - 2005/6, 2007 - 2009 and 2010 - 2012.

Topic areas in this dataset include:

  • Descriptions of the dwelling, its condition and adaptations for independent living
  • Information about occupants, deprivation, tenure and disability
  • Living conditions in the dwelling and compliance with the Scottish Housing Quality Standard
  • Energy efficiency ratings and fuel poverty; modelled energy use, fuel spend and CO2 emissions
  • Heating system and fuel used, insulation levels and potential for retrofit
  • Rurality and gas grid coverage

Local Authority level statistics can be produced using an augmented version of this dataset. For this additional information, users are required to fill in a short data access agreement.


December 2013

SHCS Key Findings 2012

Scottish House Condition Survey: Key Findings 2012 was published on 10th December 2013. This is the ninth 'Key Findings' report since the SHCS changed to a continuous format in 2003.

See Reports and Documentation for previous reports.


December 2012

SHCS Key Findings 2011

Scottish House Condition Survey: Key Findings 2011 was published on 13th December 2012.  This is the eighth 'Key Findings' report since the SHCS changed to a continuous format in 2003.

See Reports and Documentation for previous reports.


November 2012

SHCS Key Findings 2011

We are announcing a change to the publication date of ‘Scottish House Condition Survey: Key Findings 2011’, which includes Fuel Poverty estimates, from 29th November 2012 to 13th December 2012.

This delay is necessary in order to:

  1. Complete quality assurance work on the statistics and publication to ensure they meet National Statistics standards.
  2. Include the most relevant set of Fuel Poverty estimates for 2011, incorporating the significant fuel price increases in the latter part of 2011. This will involve producing  Fuel Poverty estimates based on mid-year July fuel prices, in line with previous annual estimates and publications, as well as Fuel Poverty estimates based on the higher October 2011 fuel prices.

See Reports and Documentation for previous reports.


September 2012

Dave Cormack Retiral

Falling just short of the Silver Anniversary, Dave Cormack has retired from the Scottish Government after many years of dedication and unparalleled knowledge and expertise on all things Scottish House Condition Survey.  We wish Dave well in his retirement, acknowledging the great contributions he has given to the survey and wider housing issues over the years.  Any queries that would previously been directed to Dave should be sent the SHCS mailbox.


August 2012

Thematic Reports

The following reports were published on 13 August 2012 and are available from the Reports and Documentation page.

Fuel Poverty Evidence Review

This report exams issues around the nature and measurement of fuel poverty in Scotland.  It draws on data from the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) which has been the official source of descriptive statistics on fuel poverty since 1996, as well as information from the wider evidence base, including the John Hills Fuel Poverty Review 2011‐12 undertaken for England and Wales.

Energy Use in the Home

This report draws on data from the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS), the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) and the Energy Savings Trust (EST) to look at how households currently use energy within their homes and the energy efficiency of said homes.


April 2012

Technical Reports

The SHCS Social Questionnaire 2010 and SHCS Physical Form 2012 have recently been published and provide useful contextual information in how the survey questions have continued to change year on year.  Should you have enquiries on questions then please contact the SHCS Project Team.


November 2011

SHCS Key Findings 2010

This is the seventh 'Key Findings' report since the SHCS changed to a continuous format in 2003.

SHCS Local Authority Report 2008-2010

This report combines 3 years worth of data (2008-2010) to provide a series of tables which present estimates for key indicators important at local authority level.

Updated Fuel Poverty Estimates

Estimates of Fuel Poverty at local authority level are currently based upon three years survey data, currently 2008, 2009 and 2010. Although the housing stock overall does not change rapidly measures based on fuel prices do and so our figures, which centre on July 2009, are considered to provide an out-of-date estimate of fuel poverty. Therefore we have developed a method to update the figures.


June 2011

Scottish Household Survey 2012-2015 Contract Award

The contract for the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) 2012-2015, which includes the integration of the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS), has been awarded to Ipsos MORI.

The main contract covers survey fieldwork from January 2012 to December 2015. The contract also includes the associated preparatory work in 2011, on-going survey and questionnaire development, all fieldwork including "mopping up" of interviews in 2016 (in order to complete the 2015 sample), and the finalisation and delivery of the survey dataset and associated outputs in 2016.

The contract includes an optional 2 year extension to cover additional fieldwork in 2016 and 2017, along with the "mopping up" and finalisation of the outputs in 2018. Granting of the extension will be at the sole discretion of Scottish Ministers.

The methodology will, in very broad terms, follow the template that has been established and developed since 1999 under the existing SHS. The survey will be a large, continuous sample survey designed to provide data that is representative of the household and adult populations of Scotland. The SHS will be fully modularised, and will integrate the current SHCS. In particular, the physical survey of the SHCS will be run as a follow-up component of the main survey but incorporating electronic data capture rather than the pen and paper method currently used. Ipsos MORI will work in partnership with BRE, Alembic Research and MMBL in delivering the physical survey component of the survey.

The survey design will enable headline SHS statistics to be reported annually at both national and local authority levels where appropriate, though this will be balanced by a slight reduction in the precision of SHS estimates. The survey will be based on an annual sample of approximately 11,000 households, using a fully unclustered design, with an average interview length of 60 minutes. The details of the modular structure and questionnaire have yet to be finalised, and will be developed in partnership with Ipsos MORI over the coming months.

This will include undertaking the SHS 2012 Questionnaire Consultation exercise between July and August 2011 to agree the final questions and their wording, with further consutlation exercises in the new year to identify any associated dissemination and reporting requirements.

First results from the SHS 2012 will be available from late summer in 2013. All other outputs from the existing SHS, and the SHCS, will continue to be provided in line with current reporting standards.

Further information will be made available in due course.