Green Heat Finance Taskforce minutes: July 2023

Minutes of the meeting held on 5 July 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Sara Thiam – Chief Executive, SCDI (Meeting Chair) 
  • Patrick Harvie MSP – Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, etc. 
  • Kirsty Hamilton – Independent 
  • Emma Harvey-Smith – Green Finance Institute (GFI) 
  • Lewis Shand Smith – Energy Consumers’ Commission (ECC) 
  • Sandy Macdonald – Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) 
  • Rufus Grantham – Bankers Without Boundaries (BWB) 
  • Simon McWhirter – Director of Communications and Policy, UKGBC 
  • Morag Watson – Director of Policy, Scottish Renewables 
  • Andy Kerr – Climate KIC (virtually) 
  • Ian Cochran – University of Edinburgh Business School/Institute for Climate Economics (virtually)
  • Gareth Fenney – SG, Head of Heat in Buildings Future Delivery Unit
  • Edwina Ryan – SG, Private Secretary to Mr. Harvie 


  • Karl Reilly – SG, Heat in Buildings Future Finance Team Leader 
  • Michelle Rayneard – SG, Heat in Buildings Future Finance Team 
  • Peter Irving – SG, Heat in Buildings Division Future Finance Team 
  • Daniel Nagy – SG, Heat in Buildings Division Future Finance Team 

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies 

The Chair welcomed members to the ninth meeting of the Green Heat Finance Taskforce (GHFT), the main focus of which was the draft first report.

Apologies had been received for this meeting from: Eddie McAvinchey, SNIB; David Steen, UKGBC; and Helen Melone, Scottish Renewables. 

Summary note and actions points from previous meeting, including member notification of any conflicts of interest 

All members confirmed they were content with the summary note and action points from the previous meeting of 17 May 2023.

No conflicts of interest were raised. 

Secretariat update – Scottish Government 

The Minister informed members of progress with the consultation on Proposals for a Heat in Buildings Bill, including current timing for Cabinet discussion of the draft consultation. 

Secretariat provided a further update on the social housing workshop, noting a summary of outputs had been circulated to members on 16 June 2023. Members also noted the details of the EU Horizons funded ‘Super-I-project’ exploring social housing models across Europe might be relevant, and that the consortium leading the project is keen to set-up a Scottish policy roundtable in the autumn on barriers and challenges to green retrofit for social housing in Scotland involving all relevant stakeholders. 

Members noted details of an SG consultation on reforms to domestic and non-domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), which was due to publish mid-July 2023, seeking views on reforms to make them better suited to support net zero and drive the necessary improvements. Members were invited to respond to this consultation and to share with their respective networks. 

Action 1

Secretariat to share details of SG consultation on reforms to domestic and non-domestic EPCs (in mid-July). 

Action 2

All to consider respective organisations’ responses to this consultation, as well as sharing with respective networks. 

Secretariat also updated members on details of a UK Government project to develop a National Buildings Database to build data on non-domestic building stock, and informed members of key outputs from a Green Mortgage Conference, which had been organised by GFI in Manchester in June and where several finance providers discussed their interest in testing new green financial products which could support home energy retrofitting. 

Interim report 

It was agreed that instead of referring to the Taskforce’s initial report as the “Interim Report,” this would henceforth be called GHFT Part 1 Report, and that the final report should been termed the GHFT Part 2 Report. 

Secretariat outlined changes made to the Part 1 Report following feedback at the last meeting and by email in the intervening time. This was followed by group discussion, with members' feedback including offers of support to help refine Part 1 Report in specific areas, including: 

  • further drawing out the importance of engagement with the UK Government and regulators, as well as highlighting where good alignment exists
  • how the GFI’s work on green mortgages, green personal loans, green leases and property linked finance can link into the report
  • strengthening the coverage around consumer protection and the consumer perspective

Action 3

Members to provide input, including further feedback and suggested text, on the specific areas of expertise they offered during the course of discussion, including offering suggested text for inclusion, by Monday 24 July. 

The secretariat undertook to make further refinements to Part 1 Report, including: the inclusion of a glossary of terms to help readers better understand acronyms; and ensuring that certain terms (such as ‘place-based’ and ‘investment’) are used consistently and explicitly throughout. 

Members were encouraged to engage with secretariat on how best to promote the publication of the Part 1 Report through their own stakeholder networks at the appropriate time. 

Presentation 1: Heat Pumps on Subscription research project 

There followed a presentation by Mark Hadfield and Tessa Clark of LCP Delta of the findings of SG’s “Heat Pumps on Subscription” research project (Heat as a Service). This outlined how three proposed innovative heat pump business models could be tested in Scotland by means of a progressive/staged approach. Suggested business models were not expected to generate customer demand for installing heat pumps, rather to present different financial options in a market where greater customer demand already exists. 

Presentation 2: Financial and fiscal measures research 

There followed a presentation by Emma Bill (EST) and Elizabeth Leighton (EHA) on research findings from Existing Homes Alliance research undertaken with Energy Savings Trust on financial and fiscal measures to support a just transition to zero emissions homes. The forthcoming research would provide independent research that would help to inform a policy briefing that was focused on housing energy efficiency and decarbonisation. This would include: how the most appealing finance offer may vary by tenure, income, archetype, and technology; how support could evolve over time to reflect changes such as the onset of regulation and in anticipation of reduced costs arising from market growth; and what is known about public attitudes/preferences towards different financial mechanisms and incentives. 

Any other business 

Members noted that subsequent Taskforce meetings would be held in Saint Andrew’s House on 20 September and 25 October 2023 and that it would be helpful now to explore dates for a further meeting in later autumn. The main focus of the September meeting would be on place-based mechanisms. 

Members were invited to share their views on what substantive areas/topics (not hitherto covered in meetings) they would like to focus their collective time on at future meetings.

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