Green Heat Finance Taskforce minutes: September 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 7 September 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Patrick Harvie MSP, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenant’s Rights (Meeting Chair 11:00 – 12:00) 
  • Sara Thiam, Scottish Council for Development and Industry 
  • Kirsty Hamilton, independent 
  • Sandy MacDonald, Scottish Financial Enterprise 
  • Emma Harvey, Green Finance Institute 
  • Eddie McAvinchey, Scottish National Investment Bank 
  • Ian Cochran, Edinburgh University Business School/Institute for Climate Economics 
  • Rufus Grantham, Bankers Without Boundaries 
  • Simon McWhirter, UK Green Building Council Scotland 
  • Lewis Shand Smith, Energy Consumers Commission 
  • Andy Kerr, Climate KIC 
  • Sherina Peek, Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers 
  • Arran Hill, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
  • Gareth Fenney, Heat in Buildings Division, Scottish Government (Meeting Chair 10:00 – 11:00)
  • Ciara O’Connor, Heat in Buildings Division, Scottish Government


  • Carole Stewart, Heat in Buildings Division, Scottish Government
  • Toby Tucker, Scottish Futures Trust, Net Zero Team 
  • Peter Irving, Heat in Buildings Division, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

The Chair welcomed members to the fifth meeting of the Green Heat Finance Taskforce. Apologies were received from Helen Melone of 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. No conflicts of interest were raised. Members were reminded to raise any potential conflicts of interest during the meeting should the need arise. 

Secretariat update, Scottish Government 

Carole Stewart provided an update on recent stakeholder roundtable sessions with Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) members and UK Green Building Council Scotland (UKGBCS) members. SFE roundtable highlights included EPC resilience, the importance of education to support behaviour change both for building owners and the finance industry and SMART data. Suggestions included developing local place based solutions, a ‘customer journey’ pilot and collaboration with local authorities. 

Highlights from the UKGBC's roundtable included concerns relating to the capacity of the electricity network itself, asset ownership for district heating, retrofit costs for Net Zero as well as the behavioural shift needed for both investors and building occupiers. Suggestions included developing an app for retrofit and construction financial options, investigating a UK carbon offsetting construction scheme that was better suited to the commercial sector with revenue used to decarbonise hard-to-treat sectors and ensuring long term policy and capital availability to better match the aspirations of institutional investors. 

Action 1: Secretariat to share notes of roundtable meetings with taskforce members.

Action 2: Secretariat to share diagram of consumer journey for both HES loan and cashback schemes and associated statistics with taskforce members.

Social housing presentations 

Three short presentations were provided to set the scene for group discussion on social housing:

  • Ciara O’Connor of SG Heat in Buildings Social Housing Policy team outlined SG’s policy
  • Aaron Hill, Director of Policy and Membership from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, outlined his members’ positions on retrofitting the social housing sector  
  • Sherina Peek, Policy Manager at the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers, outlined her members’ views on the scale of the challenge ahead, barriers and opportunities to financing and funding retrofitting of existing social housing in Scotland

Action 3: Secretariat to share slide pack of all three presentations by email.

Group discussion, financing and delivery for social housing

The group discussion was informed by a short presentation by Toby Tucker on the Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce recommendations and the Scottish Government’s response to these. The establishment of the Green Heat Finance Taskforce Social Housing Subgroup to consider the actions relating to finance was discussed.

Establishment of Social Housing Subgroup, draft terms of reference 

Members agreed that any remaining comments on the subgroup draft terms of reference and its final sign-off should be made by email correspondence to the secretariat. The taskforce was also asked to consider suitable membership for the subgroup, and to email the secretariat with any suggestions. 

Action 4: Members to consider and email the secretariat with further comments on the draft terms of reference and to suggest candidates for membership of the Social Housing Subgroup.

November meeting and any other business

The secretariat reminded the taskforce that the topic of the next meeting in November is non-domestic and small to medium enterprise buildings. 

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