Heat in buildings

Reducing emissions from Scotland’s homes and buildings by moving to cleaner heating systems is one of the most important things we can do to combat climate change.  

Examples of clean heating systems are heat networks and heat pumps, as well as other electric systems like storage heaters. These don’t produce emissions when we use them unlike gas and oil boilers.  

Transforming how we heat our buildings will not only help us reach our climate change targets but will help create jobs and make our homes warmer and cheaper to heat.

Heat in buildings bill consultation 

We are proposing to make new laws about the heating and energy efficiency of existing homes and workplaces.  

Under our plans:  

  • all homes and businesses will have to move to a clean heating system by the end of 2045 

  • people buying new homes and buildings before 2045 would be asked to move to a clean heating system within a set period after the sale 

  • minimum energy efficiency standards for all homes by the end of 2033, to make them warmer and less expensive to heat - private landlords would need to do this by the end of 2028 

We invited views to help shape a Heat in Buildings Bill in 2024

A number of events were organised across Scotland for people to learn about the consultation proposals.

Heat in buildings strategy

Our Heat in Buildings Bill proposals build on action we are already taking as part of our Heat in Buildings Strategy (2021). We have committed £1.8 billion to 2026 to support delivery of this strategy.

This includes: 

Funding for households 

We provide grants and loans to help people install clean heat and energy efficiency measures in their homes. 

This includes the Home Energy Scotland Scheme which offers grants to homeowners to install heat pumps. This includes targeted support for those in rural areas. 

Find out more at the Home Energy Scotland website. 

New Build Heat Standard 

The New Build Heat Standard will ensure that all new buildings applying for a building warrant from April 2024 will need to install clean heating systems. This also applies to some conversions. The Standard is a requirement set out in law and comes into force from 1 April 2024.  

The purpose of the New Build Heat Standard is to make sure that any new buildings are future-proofed by using clean heating systems which will not require future retrofit.

Read: New Build Heat Standard: factsheet

Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES) 

All councils must develop a local heat and energy efficiency strategy (LHEES) by the end of 2023.  

LHEES will identify heat network opportunities in local areas. 

We have published guidance to help councils develop LHEES

Quality standards for installers 

Our Heat in Buildings quality assurance policy statement aims to ensure that consumers have access to high quality installation services. 

It outlines the standards required of installers and ways to tackle scams and mis-selling. 

Heat networks 

Heat networks supply clean heat to homes and buildings from a central source, avoiding the need for individual gas boilers.   

We are working to expand the development of heat networks, including funding new projects and introducing rules to regulate the sector.

Clean heat supply chain 

We need a strong, skilled clean heat supply chain that can deliver at scale in all areas of Scotland. Our Heat in buildings supply chain delivery plan sets out the actions we are taking to support growth across the green heat industry. 

Tracking progress 

We are tracking progress of our heat in buildings strategy through our heat in buildings evaluation framework and publish annual progress reports

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