The Scottish Government has published a Draft Heat in Buildings Strategy for consultation, which can be found here

The Strategy aims to “transform Scotland’s homes and workplaces so they are warmer, greener and more efficient”, while noting at the same time the need for safeguards against fuel poverty as more expensive low or zero emission heating systems are introduced to replace existing fossil fuel systems. 

Currently Scotland’s 2.5 million homes account for 15% of Scotland’s Greenhouse gas emissions. The vast majority of these homes use mains gas for heating and only 11% have a renewable or very low emissions heating system such as a heat pump, biomass boiler or electric storage heater. 

New buildings will require to incorporate zero emission heating systems from 2024 (with similar requirements to be phased in from 2024 for new non domestic buildings) and for existing homes an interim target of 2030 will require one million homes and an estimated 50,000 non domestic buildings to convert to using zero or low emission heating systems. The Strategy sets out to “increase clarity and pace by regulating to ensure that all buildings across all tenures achieve a good level of energy efficiency by 2035 and use zero emissions heating (and cooling) by 2045”. 

Energy efficiency has improved with 45% of Scotland’s homes being rated EPC C or better, a 27 percentage points increase since 2010. The Strategy proposes a reform of the EPC Framework so that EPCs help building owners to understand measures required to improve efficiency, the changes needed to the heating system so that it is zero emission and the impact of such changes on running costs. 

The Strategy contains sections outlining the Scottish Government’s thinking on how local heat strategies, the planning system and energy networks might be best developed to achieve the foregoing objectives and how investment can most appropriately be kick-started in this sector. 

The consultation sets out 70 questions. Responses may be submitted until 30th April 2021, following the format set out at page 174 of the Strategy.