Heating our homes and buildings produces around a fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Our vision is that by 2045 our homes and buildings are cleaner, greener and easy to heat, with our homes and buildings no longer contributing to climate change, as part of the wider just transition to net zero.

The Heat in buildings strategy (October 2021) sets out the actions we are taking in the buildings sector to deliver our climate change commitments, maximise economic opportunities, and ensure a just transition, including helping address fuel poverty.

We are working to decarbonise our buildings in Scotland by investing at least £1.8 billion for heat and energy efficiency projects over this parliament (2021 to 2026).

In addition to progress on emissions from heating buildings, we are also working with the industry to reduce emissions from manufacturing and other processes.


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The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 set legally binding targets for us to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, with interim targets requiring a 75% reduction by 2030, and 90% by 2040.

Our statutory fuel poverty targets require that in 2040, no more than 5% of households are fuel poor, no more than 1% are in extreme fuel poverty and the fuel poverty gap is no more than £250 (in 2015 prices). It is critical to a just transition that, as we take action to cut emissions from Scotland’s homes, we do so in a way that supports and enables the eradication of fuel poverty.

The Heat in buildings strategy outlines the steps we will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Scotland’s homes, workplaces and community buildings and to ensure that we remove poor energy performance as a driver of fuel poverty.

The focus of the strategy is on energy demand for space and water heating in homes, workplaces and community buildings. Building on the policies and actions set out in the climate change plan update, the strategy sets out a pathway to zero emissions buildings by 2045 and details a series of near-term actions to put us on a clear path towards this, as well as a range of further, longer-term commitments to accelerate the transformation of the nation’s building stock.

It sets out the principles we will apply to ensure our zero emissions heat delivery programmes support our fuel poverty objectives.

The Heat in buildings strategy provides an update to the 2018 Energy Efficient Scotland route map and the 2015 heat policy statement, and brings together our ambitions on energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation into a single framework.

It is aligned with wider policy on housing, energy and climate change. The actions it sets out are reflected in our Housing to 2040 strategy, which also presents further details on how our housing can support achievement of our net zero ambitions, whilst also delivering against wider objectives.

We consulted on a draft of this strategy in February 2021. 178 individuals and organisations responded, providing an invaluable resource to support ongoing policy development. We have published an analysis of the consultation alongside the strategy.

The draft strategy was generally supported through the consultation and we continue to work to incorporate this wealth of insight into our approach to the heat transition.

We are taking decisive action to tackle the decarbonisation of homes and buildings in Scotland through taking a fabric-first approach and increasing deployment of energy efficiency, as well as putting a strong focus on heating system change to low and zero carbon technologies as detailed below.

We are particularly keen to ensure that the people who need their heating most aren’t worried about turning it on because they can’t afford their bills. Find more information in our home energy and fuel poverty policy.


Email: HeatInBuildings@gov.scot

Phone: 0131 244 4000

Scottish Government
Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

Industrial energy efficiency enquiries: EII@gov.scot

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