Setting housing standards to cut climate change emissions

Views sought on proposed rules requiring zero emissions heating systems in all new build homes.

The Scottish Government has today published a consultation asking for views on the proposed New Build Heat Standard.

The new rules would mean all new build homes must have heating that produces zero direct greenhouse gas emissions, helping to meet climate change targets.

The measures aim to ensure that heating systems in all new buildings given consent from 2024 are zero-emissions, in line with the recommendation from the UK Committee on Climate Change that this is achieved from 2025 at the latest.

The consultation sets out a range of outcomes for the standard to achieve, including ensuring new homes and non-residential buildings are affordable to heat, supporting the delivery of a continued supply of high quality homes, and offer opportunities for retraining and upskilling workers to install zero emissions heating systems.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “The pace of decarbonising Scotland’s domestic and non-domestic buildings has to increase significantly to achieve our targets on climate change. The New Build Heat Standard will be an important contribution to this to ensure emissions from heating and cooling our buildings fall close to zero.

“We want to combine the action we need to meet the challenge of the climate emergency with our ambition to provide affordable, warm homes. We are seeking views from stakeholders on the most effective way to introduce this Standard to ensure it is deliverable and fit for purpose.”

Professor Lynne Sullivan OBE - A an expert in zero carbon buildings and Chair of the Good Homes Alliance, who co-chaired the New Build Heat Standard working group - said:

“We recognised the priority for new buildings to achieve higher efficiency and be ready for zero emissions heating sources, in line with Scotland’s world-leading climate commitments.

“We welcome the consultation on new homes, and believe the targets are achievable with existing technologies at scale. Delivery will unlock long-term economic benefits as well as future-proof Scottish homes.”


The consultation can be found via this link: New Build Heat Standard - Scoping Consultation - Scottish Government - Citizen Space

New Build Heat Standard Working Group

To support the development of the New Build Heat Standard, an external working group was established to provide advice and expertise to the Scottish Government – and this was instrumental during the drafting of this Scoping Consultation. The group, which features representation across a wide-variety of interests and areas, is co-chaired by respected zero carbon buildings expert, Professor Lynne Sullivan OBE.

Zero Emissions from Heat

Our Scoping Consultation sets out our proposals that any installed heating system (both in terms of a building’s main and any other fixed heating system) would produce no direct greenhouse gas emissions at the point of use. This is to regulate direct emissions that the building owner has control over: emissions from any heating systems contained within a new building.

As part of this consultation process, we are welcoming evidence on how heating technologies could be considered compliant with a ‘zero emissions’ standard.

We have set out our view that heat generated by electricity or by heat networks would produce zero direct emissions at point of use. We recognise that there are other technologies that could produce zero direct emissions, or very nearly zero direct emissions, and are seeking evidence on these. Any approach taken would be kept under review as further evidence on these technologies develops.

Affordable Housing Supply Programme

The Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme continues to support affordable housing providers who wish to install zero emissions heating systems at point of use in their homes.  We are evaluating a number of current and pipeline affordable housing projects with these systems, which collectively comprise approximately 900 affordable homes, with the findings from the evaluation making an important contribution to the development of the 2024 Standard.


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