The choices we make about our energy system, and how we support the low carbon transition are among the most important decisions we face as a nation. Decarbonising Scotland's heat supply, whilst maintaining affordability for customers, is a critical part of delivering a successful transition.
The Scottish Energy Strategy sets an ambitious but achievable target that, by 2030, the equivalent of 50% of Scotland's total energy requirements for heat, transport and electricity is to be supplied from renewable sources. We outlined in the Climate Change Plan our long-term ambition that by 2050 emissions from buildings in Scotland are near zero. We are already making good progress. An increasing proportion of buildings now have a good energy efficiency rating, with 42% of domestic properties now EPC band C or above. The supply of renewable, low carbon heat also increased to provide 5.9% of non-electrical heat demand through renewable sources in 2017. However, there is more we need to do.
As we've set out previously, we're phasing our approach so that we are starting interventions with the things within our control. In practice this means driving up the energy efficiency, standards and performance across Scotland's building stock through our Energy Efficient Scotland programme, which it is estimated could have a whole economy cost of between £10 - £12 billion over its lifetime, and deploying low carbon heat in areas not currently using mains gas and developing district heating networks where it makes sense to do so.
Scotland's transformation into a low carbon society can only be achieved with public, private and third sectors working together and with the involvement of everyone. Our aim is, therefore, to work closely with businesses, the public sector, and individuals to achieve Scotland's ambitious goals. If we get this framework right and have sufficient advance sight of the pipeline of works, then investing in energy efficiency will boost economic growth, support jobs across the Scottish economy, bring Scotland's buildings up to standard, and help households and businesses save money.
This consultation seeks your views on our future strategic approach to decarbonising heat for off gas buildings. Your views will help us understand the roles that various low carbon heat technologies can play, as well as what kind of policies and legislation may be needed to support their uptake. I encourage you to respond to this consultation and my Ministerial colleagues and I very much look forward to hearing your views.
Paul Wheelhouse MSP
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands
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