Heat in Buildings programme

Transforming our homes and workplaces is a challenge that requires action from all of us, right across society and the economy. The launch of the Heat in buildings strategy (October 2021) sees us bringing policies across many sectors together and taking co-ordinated action to tackle the challenge of building decarbonisation by:

  • developing Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES) for all local authorities
  • establishing quality assurance standards
  • boosting the Scottish supply chain
  • increasing deployment of heat networks across Scotland
  • investing in the heat transition
  • working with our international partners to gain knowledge in how to deliver the heat transition

Local heat and energy efficiency strategies (LHEES)

Local heat and energy efficiency strategies (LHEES) are at the heart of a area-based, locally-led and tailored approach to the heat transition. These local strategies will underpin an area-based approach to heat and energy efficiency planning and delivery.

More detail on LHEES can be found in chapter 4 of the Heat in buildings strategy.

The LHEES pilot programme was completed in April 2021 and involved pilot projects delivered by all 32 Scottish local authorities. The pilot programme involved three distinct phases, each testing the LHEES development process and considering data sourcing and resource requirements. Evaluations have been conducted for each of the three phases and a synthesis evaluation sought to bring together findings from across the whole pilot programme, and to identify learning points for the future rollout of LHEES.

Quality assurance for heat and energy efficiency projects

Establishing trust in our Heat in Buildings programme will be key to its success, so it's important that products and services are of the highest quality. We will achieve this by establishing robust quality assurance requirements at every stage of the delivery process, from the marketing and communications to the assessment and installation. This will ensure there is confidence in our programmes and that consumers are protected.

In March 2019, we published the Energy Efficient Scotland consultation which included a chapter on the supply chain where we consulted on the 19 recommendations from the Quality Assurance Short Life Working GroupWe subsequently published our consultation analysis (December 2019).

In March 2021, we published our draft Heat in buildings strategy for consultation which included a separate consultation on Scottish skills requirements for energy efficiency, zero emissions and low carbon heating systems, microgeneration and heat networks for homes. To support these consultations we also held several virtual workshop for suppliers and other stakeholders, including a virtual workshop focusing on remote rural and island suppliers which would be promoted through various channels including suppliers registered with the Sustainable Energy Supply Chain programme. This was administered on our behalf by Energy Saving Trust. The analysis from both these consultations can be found here:

We will publish a Quality Assurance Policy Statement in 2022 setting out our position on quality assurance and how it relates to our programmes. This will also include our response to the consultation on Scottish skills requirements for energy efficiency, zero emissions and low carbon heating systems, microgeneration and heat networks for homes.​​​​​​

Supply chain for heat and energy efficiency

The availability of an inclusive, diverse and capable supply chain will be key to delivering on our ambition for the decarbonisation of heat in buildings. We are working with industry to support growth in supply chains, particularly in the consumer-facing roles which people will need to access during the transition.

Unlocking investment in the supply chain must start with clear demand for its products and services. Our investment of at least £1.8 billion, as outlined in the Heat in buildings strategy, will strengthen demand and support an increase in jobs and skilled workers.

We estimate that an additional 16,400 jobs will be supported across the economy in 2030 as a result of investment in the deployment of zero emissions heat. We have a strong foundation on which to build, with the heat and energy efficiency sectors in Scotland currently generating an annual turnover of £2 billion and supporting around 12,500 full-time or equivalent jobs.

We have been working closely with industry to explore the challenges and opportunities for supply chains growth. In 2021, our Heat Pump Sector Deal Expert Advisory Group published two reports with a series of recommendations on the potential for a heat pump sector deal for Scotland. We will respond to these recommendations in summer 2022 as part of a new ‘Heat in Buildings Supply Chain Delivery Plan’ focussed on strengthening the broad supply chains needed to deliver at the pace and scale we need.

We have also partnered with Scottish Renewables and Skills Development Scotland to undertake a ‘Heat in Buildings Workforce Assessment Project’ which will help us better understand the timing of workforce growth and how best to support people transitioning into key sectors. This research will be published in spring 2022.

Heat networks

Heat networks are a form of infrastructure consisting of insulated pipes and heat generation which supplies heat (in the form of hot water or steam) to homes and non-domestic premises, such as businesses and the public sector.

We are supporting the deployment of heat networks in Scotland to help us meet climate change targets. See heat networks for more information.

Heat in buildings investment

As part of Heat in Buildings, we have developed and offer a range of funding programmes to support the development and deployment of low carbon heating and energy efficiency in homes and buildings. Our programmes include support for households, support for businesses and support for large project development.

More information on delivery schemes, including support for households, support for businesses and and local and large scale projects can be found in chapter 6 of our Heat in buildings strategy.

International collaboration

We are committed to learning and sharing our experience on an international scale. That is why we signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of the Kingdom of Denmark on co-operation in the areas of decarbonisation of heating systems, district heating and energy efficiency in buildings in November 2021. Key objectives of this MoU are to promote a mutually beneficial partnership and to explore and identify options for possible cooperation to build an alliance of "like-minded" European countries, nations, states and regions committed to transitioning to low-carbon and energy efficient buildings.

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