The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 set legally binding targets for Scotland to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, with interim targets requiring a 75% reduction by 2030, and 90% by 2040.
To achieve this requires transformational change in the way we heat our homes, workplaces and community buildings. As set out in the Scottish Government's new Heat in Buildings Strategy (published 7 October 2021), our vision is that by 2045 our homes and buildings are cleaner, greener and easier to heat, with our homes and buildings no longer contributing to climate change, as part of the wider just transition to net zero.
We continue to support a fabric first approach within existing energy efficiency and fuel poverty programmes, but we also recognise that we must go further if we are to deliver at the scale and pace of change necessary to meet these ambitious targets. The Heat in Buildings Strategy sets out a new framework to combine energy efficiency improvements with heating system change.
To support this, we have committed at least £1.8 billion investment over the course of this Parliament – this funding will underpin the decarbonisation of heat across 1 million homes and 50,000 non-domestic (equivalent) buildings by 2030, and the removal of energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty.
As set out in the 2021/22 Programme for Government – and reaffirmed in the Heat in Buildings Strategy – we will establish a new dedicated National Public Energy Agency by 2025, to lead this transformational change. The Agency will achieve this by taking a people-centred approach to delivery, supporting people and business to switch their heating systems and improve the energy efficiency of buildings, while working with the public, private and third sectors to ensure a coordinated approach across the wider heat decarbonisation delivery agenda in Scotland.
The purpose of this initial Call for Evidence is to inform development of a broader evidence base to inform the design of the new body. The questions are structured around the following key themes:
Dedicated Agency, 2025
- Strategic purpose, remit and objectives
- Institutional form and governance
- Relationship with the wider stakeholder landscape
- Agency development process
Virtual Agency, 2022
- Purpose and functions
- Structure and governance
- Transition pathway to dedicated Agency
We are seeking examples of previous and/or existing public bodies – or other organisation types – that have a specific delivery remit and successfully achieve significant change at a societal, sectoral, and/or infrastructure level through innovative programme design, leadership and coordination of the wider landscape. Examples of where this type of transformational change has been sought unsuccessfully through a national public body, and why, are also welcomed.
We are also seeking evidence of the value and opportunities presented by establishing a national delivery body of this type on a statutory footing, and/or where this might present challenges.
1.2. Future Consultation and Stakeholder Engagement Activities
We are keen that the development of the Agency is a collective and collaborative effort, shaped by the input from a range of stakeholders across the public, private and third sectors, putting people first as part of its core values.
This Call for Evidence represents part of the first phase in a process of collaboration and co-development of the new dedicated Agency over the transition period up to 2025, to be shaped by the input from a range of individuals and stakeholder organisations across the public, private and third sectors. Reflecting this commitment, the content has been informed, in part, by considerations and points raised during an initial round of informal preliminary discussions with a mix of delivery partners, consumer, fuel poverty, and housing organisations.
A series of stakeholder engagement events will be carried out to complement this initial Call for Evidence during early 2022, and will indicate our plans for a broader formal consultation thereafter.
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