Building a net zero future

New measures to slash carbon emissions from housing stock.

New regulations that will cut emissions of all new-build homes by nearly a third have published.

The new energy standards will also apply to newly built non-domestic buildings and form part of plans to reduce emissions across Scotland’s building stock by more than two thirds by 2030.

Key elements in the new standards include:

  • improved performance targets which will reduce emissions from new homes by an aggregate of 32% and new non-domestic buildings by an aggregate of 20%.
  • the introduction of a new energy target for new buildings to set and report on performance of decarbonisation as new buildings are decarbonised
  • a focus on reducing energy demand, including improved fabric insulation in new homes to reduce heating needs
  • changes to make connection to low-carbon heating solutions such as heat networks easier

The new standards, which will apply from December 2022, also support plans for all new buildings to have zero emissions heating systems from 2024.

Zero Carbon Buildings Minister Patrick Harvie said:

“Emissions from our homes and buildings currently account for about a fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions and we know that transformational action is required to ensure we cut these emissions at pace and scale.

“These new energy standards represent the next step in ensuring that our buildings are as energy efficient as they can be and in realising the ambitious vision we set out in our Heat in Buildings Strategy.

“From December this year, all new homes and buildings built in Scotland will be warmer, greener and cheaper to heat.

“I am keen to continue working closely with the construction sector to ensure these new standards are met successfully, and to work together to raise standards and to develop the further actions and innovations that will be required to meet our climate targets.”


The new energy standards form part of improved building regulations and build on earlier improvements introduced in 2010 and 2015.

Regulations to enable changes to the 2015 standards were laid in April 2022.

The introduction of the new standards will be deferred from October to December 2022 to enable an appropriate timescale for the development and delivery of the necessary calculation software tools.


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