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Energy demand minimisation and efficiency

Reducing energy consumption and increasing energy productivity, through implementation of physical and behavioural energy efficiency measures not only improves the bottom line for businesses but it also delivers real environmental improvements locally, nationally and globally. Collaborative working and 21st century regulation must put energy efficiency at the heart of its work. Scottish business is already aware of the importance of energy efficiency and there are good examples of innovation and improvement. We want to help move these examples from exemplar to embedding them across business sectors. Our remit and aims are summarised in our Energy Framework,  and includes acting as a consultee for land use planning, working with partners to influence and provide advice across the sectors, regulating certain industrial installations and assessing the impacts of energy usage on the environment. We also aim to lead by example by working to improve our own energy performance, through our own environmental performance measure and Climate Change Commitment Statement

Details of our role in relation to these different areas can be found below:


Through our role as a statutory consultee to the planning system,we influence the location, design and layout of new infrastructure and building developments in order to minimise the future consumption of energy and impacts to the environment. In this role, we work closely with partners such as Scottish Government, the local planning authority, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and Historic Scotland.For more details visit our planning webpages.

Influencing and advising

We seek to advise Government, industry and business on how to improve energy efficiency, and also to influence others in developing policies that minimise energy demand. As part of this, we continue to work with the Scottish Government and support partners (listed under Related Items) to develop and implement the Energy Efficient Scotland Programme  and provide up-to-date information and guidance to NetRegs(a free environmental guidance service) on environmental legislation and regulations for every type of business.


We require operators of certain activities to address specific energy considerations under industrial and water environment regulatory regimes, and we administer the Carbon Reduction Commitment  and Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme , which aims to reduce energy usage and cut carbon dioxide emissions in high energy using private and public sector organisations.

We also administer the EU Emissions Trading System, which is a mechanism to encourage reducing CO2 emissions through, for example, improvements to energy efficiency. In addition, Articles 14 (5-8) of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive 2012,which is transposed into Scottish legislation via amendments to the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012, require us to ensure cost-benefit analyses are undertaken for certain new and refurbished installations to assess the potential for waste heat to be efficiently utilised.

Monitoring the environment

We monitor and report on the state of the environment,highlighting the impacts of energy demand and climate change on the environment and using this information to inform and influence others.