Publication - Strategy/plan

Heat in Buildings Strategy - achieving net zero emissions in Scotland's buildings

Sets out our vision for the future of heat in buildings, and the actions we are taking in the buildings sector to deliver our climate change commitments, maximise economic opportunities, and ensure a just transition, including helping address fuel poverty.

Heat in Buildings Strategy - achieving net zero emissions in Scotland's buildings
Chapter 8 Developing a Regulatory Framework for Zero Emissions Buildings

Chapter 8 Developing a Regulatory Framework for Zero Emissions Buildings

Principles of our approach

To underpin our investment and provide long-term certainty to the sector and home owners, landlords, owners of non-domestic premises and the public sector, we will introduce new mandatory legal standards for zero emissions heating and energy efficiency, where it is within our legal competence, during this term of Parliament. Together, these regulations will cover the full range of Scotland’s domestic and non-domestic buildings and address both their energy efficiency and their direct emissions from heating. This chapter sets out our proposed approach for the introduction of these regulations for both new and existing buildings, including: reforming the assessment process and metrics underpinning Energy Performance Certificates; standards for existing homes; standards for existing non-domestic buildings; and standards for mixed-use and multi-tenure buildings.

Energy efficiency and zero emissions heating investments are long term decisions that require certainty and clear end-points. Regulations will help provide that certainty and also help build supply chain confidence to invest in training, skills and new projects. In this way, regulation can help to lower the costs of the transition[14].

We will introduce regulation fairly and in a way which considers the health and wellbeing of Scotland’s people, including continuing to target the eradication of poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty and ensuring our actions have no detrimental impact on fuel poverty, unless additional mitigating measures can also be put in place. We will ensure sufficient periods of transition to allow people and the market to adjust and prepare for new standards coming into force, and tailor our delivery mechanisms to set out a clear path of support and advice for individuals and organisations.

We will introduce primary legislation, subject to consultation and to limits on devolved competence, that provides the regulatory framework for zero emissions heating and energy efficiency, and underpinning powers to support this transition and the wider Heat in Buildings programme. We will engage with the UK Government ahead of introducing this legislation to secure agreement on changes that are necessary to the energy markets in reserved areas, to ensure a just transition to zero emissions heating, or securing further devolution of the powers needed to make such changes in Scotland.

The regulatory framework we set out in the draft Strategy received support in the consultation, with reactions including describing the proposals as comprehensive and easy to follow, and emphasising their role in enabling significant market changes.

Alongside our regulatory approach, we are developing our delivery programmes to support the acceleration towards net zero emissions for buildings (as set out in Chapter 6: Kick starting investment in the transition). We will also take account of the recommendations of the Green Heat Finance Taskforce ahead of the introduction of regulations (as set out in Chapter 7) so that there is a clear and identified range of financial support mechanisms available to support building owners to meet proposed regulatory obligations.

Summary of action we are taking:

82. We will introduce primary legislation, subject to consultation and to limits on devolved competence, that provides the regulatory framework for zero emissions heating and energy efficiency, and underpinning powers to support this transition and the wider Heat in Buildings programme.

83. We will engage with the UK Government ahead of introducing this legislation to secure agreement on changes that are necessary to the energy markets in reserved areas, to ensure a just transition to zero emissions heating, or securing further devolution of the powers needed to make such changes in Scotland.

84. We will introduce any regulation in a way that promotes a just transition and which considers the health and wellbeing of Scotland’s people.

85. We will also ensure sufficient periods of transition to allow people and the market to adjust and prepare for new standards coming into force.

86. We will tailor our delivery support to set out a clear path of support and advice for those affected, and will also take account of the recommendations of the Green Heat Finance Taskforce ahead of the introduction of regulations (as set out in Chapter 7), so that there is a clear and identified range of financial support mechanisms available to support building owners to meet proposed regulatory obligations.

Existing homes

In responding to the challenge of net zero, we recognise that our proposed regulatory framework needs to go further than previously set out in the 2018 Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map.

Following feedback from recent Energy Efficient Scotland consultations, advice from our Heat Decarbonisation External Advisory Group and responses to the consultation on the draft Strategy, we are revising our approach and developing a regulatory framework for energy efficiency and heat supply that will:

  • reform the assessment process and metrics underpinning Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) so that standards are effective, meeting the demands of both climate change targets and fuel poverty targets.
  • address both heat decarbonisation – to the extent that our powers allow – and energy efficiency, where previously our regulatory approach was centred on energy efficiency alone.
  • increase clarity and pace by regulating to ensure that all homes meet at least the standard of an EPC C or equivalent by 2033, and that all homes use zero emissions heating (and cooling) by 2045[15]. This brings forward the target end date for energy efficiency standards by 7 years and proposes to introduce standards for heating, not previously included in the Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map.

Energy Performance Certificates

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and the methodology behind these are the backbone of our existing standards. The UK Climate Change Committee (CCC), the Scottish Government’s own EPC Assessment Short Life Working Group, and responses to recent consultations on the setting of standards across various tenures and for off gas grid properties, have all recommended a need to reform EPCs so that they can be effectively used as the basis of regulation and to ensure that they drive the energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures needed for our net zero objectives.

The CCC recommends[lxvi] that the domestic EPC framework should be reformed and improved to ensure it is robust and enforceable and fit for the purpose of driving energy efficiency improvements and to ensure it does not disincentivise the installation of zero emissions heating. To do this, we need an EPC framework that helps building owners understand:

  • The measures required to improve the energy efficiency of their property, so as to reduce the demand for heat and ensure that poor energy performance is not a driver of fuel poverty.
  • The changes needed to the heating system so that it is zero emissions.
  • The impact of these changes on running costs.

To be a useful tool for property owners, EPCs need to set out clear property-level recommendations on the measures needed to reduce demand for energy and reduce emissions to zero.

For EPCs relating to properties in mixed-tenure and mixed-use buildings, it will be important that they recommend the necessary communal works which might be needed to retrofit the whole building.

It will be important that EPC recommendations are tailored and appropriate to the property, and are in line with heat zoning, for example as set out in the area’s Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategy.

EPCs for domestic properties currently include two ratings: an Energy Efficiency Rating and an Environmental Impact Rating. The former is currently an energy cost rating based on energy demand; the latter is based on carbon emissions. The Energy Efficiency Rating is the primary rating in use; is relatively well known; is included in adverts for property; and is currently the basis of our energy efficiency standards.

The current Energy Efficiency Rating can be improved by installing a cheaper-to-run fossil fuel heating system, such as replacing electric storage heaters with a gas or oil boiler. Conversely, installing a zero emissions system could lead to a worsening of the rating[lxvii].

As such, the current system is not compatible with our zero emissions objectives. However, simply adopting the Environmental Impact Rating as the basis of our regulatory approach would not be compatible with our statutory fuel poverty targets.

Our consultation[lxviii] on reform of the existing EPC considers options to include three indicators as a basis for future standards:

  • an indicator for energy efficiency (which will recommend to building owners the measures needed to reduce demand for heat, as appropriate to their building type and fabric; and will also show the measures needed to remove poor energy efficiency for fuel-poor households);
  • an indicator for heating emissions (which will recommend to building owners the most appropriate form(s) of heating system to reduce emissions to zero, as appropriate to their building type and fabric, and taking account of wider changes to heat supply in the area);
  • an indicator for cost of heating (which will inform building owners and tenants of the impact of the energy efficiency and heat emissions measures on their energy bills).

As we reform the EPC system it will be important that it continues to fulfil its original purpose, as well as enabling strengthened action, including as a regulatory tool, on emissions and fuel poverty. As we do this, it will be important to ensure a degree of equivalence for energy efficiency so that the trajectory for energy efficiency improvements required remains broadly the same in the reformed system as we have already proposed.

Energy Efficiency and Zero Emissions Heat

We are already committed to taking action across all tenures to address the energy efficiency of existing homes. Our proposals for a regulatory framework for decarbonising homes, as set out here, build on and update the regulatory framework set out in our 2018 Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map.

The framework we set out in 2018 focussed only on energy efficiency. We now need to strengthen this framework so that it covers both energy efficiency and zero emissions heating, so that it is aligned with our net zero emissions targets while continuing to support progress on eradicating fuel poverty.

We will strengthen our proposed regulatory framework to the extent that our powers allow and, where required, will seek additional powers from the UK Government to enable this. We propose that under our strengthened regulatory framework a large majority of buildings should achieve a good level of energy efficiency by 2030, equivalent to EPC C for homes, with all homes meeting at least this standard by 2033, and that all buildings have zero emissions heating systems by 2045 at the latest[16].

Details are set out below for a proposed new all-tenure zero emissions heat standard, as well as minimum energy efficiency standards for private-rented, owner-occupier and social housing. We will also develop a bespoke approach to regulating for improvements in mixed-tenure and mixed-use buildings.

Tenure of Scotland’s homes.

62% of all homes in Scotland are owner occupied, 24% are social rented and 14% are private rented[lxix]. Just over one third of Scottish households live in flats, which are often found in mixed-tenure and mixed-use buildings, where residents include owner occupiers and private and social renters, and commercial premises occupy the ground floor.

Figure 9: Breakdown of tenure in Scotland's domestic buildings (Source, Scottish Government House Condition Survey, 2019)
A pie chart shows that 62% of Scotland’s domestic buildings are owner occupied, 14% are privately rented and 24% are socially rented.

All-Tenure Zero Emissions Heat Standard

We will bring forward legislation during this Parliamentary term which, subject to devolved competence, will include regulatory proposals to require the installation of zero or very near zero emissions heating systems in existing buildings – in both the domestic and non-domestic sectors. We welcome the support expressed in the consultation for this regulation and will take into account points that respondents raised as we further develop our proposals.

This legislation will support our commitment to phasing out the need to install new or replacement fossil fuel boilers in off gas properties from 2025, and in on-gas areas from 2030.

This would be subject to technological developments and decisions by the UK Government in reserved areas, with our intention that compliance with a new zero emissions heat standard be phased in for off-gas grid areas from 2025 and on-gas grid areas from 2030, with all buildings needing to meet this standard no later than 2045.

It may be appropriate to have an earlier backstop date for certain types of properties or areas. This could, for example, apply in the ‘low regrets' areas of activity, such as where heat network zones have been identified and a heat network is available, or in high emissions properties, such as those that currently use heating oil or coal as their primary heating fuel.

In consulting on these proposals, we will consider whether these regulations will use the same (or similar) trigger points as those applying to energy efficiency standards, on which we have previously consulted (see below). However, as a minimum, we expect to propose that the regulations will be triggered by the replacement of an existing heating system.

We would seek to consult during 2022 on a proposed all-tenure zero emissions heat standard and any legislation needed to underpin this.

Private Rented Housing Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard

Twenty percent of private rented housing has a poor EPC rating (of E, F or G) compared to just 6% of social housing and 17% of owner-occupied[lxx].

To tackle the low energy performance in the private rented sector and help to make the heating bills of those living in those homes more affordable, we have been committed to the introduction of regulations to ensure properties in the private rented sector reach an EPC D by 2025 and have trailed this standard for the past 3 years. However, we recognise that the private rented sector has been significantly affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with emergency legislation needed to prevent evictions, support tenants and landlords and protect the broader sector.

As a result, and to reflect the need to reduce pressure on the sector, we are removing this step and now working with the sector to introduce regulations in 2025. These will require all private rented sector properties to reach a minimum standard equivalent to EPC C, where technically feasible and cost-effective, at change of tenancy, with a backstop of 2028 for all remaining existing properties, in line with the direction provided by the CCC[lxxi].

Together with our proposals for regulating the owner occupied sector also to be introduced in 2025 (below), this will ensure that from 2025 onwards all private housing must achieve minimum standards equivalent to EPC C at respective trigger points, where technically feasible and cost-effective to do so - with backstops of 2028 (for the private rented sector) and by 2033 (for owner occupiers).

Owner-Occupied Private Housing Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard

We will set out and consult on detailed proposals for introducing regulations for minimum energy efficiency standards for all owner-occupied private housing.

It is envisaged that these will be set at a level equivalent to EPC C where it is technically feasible and cost-effective to do so. This will apply at key trigger points.

We propose to introduce regulations from 2023-2025 onwards, and all domestic owner-occupied buildings should meet this standard by 2033. This brings forward the previously proposed backstop from 2040 to 2033.

Where it is not technically feasible or cost-effective to achieve the equivalent to EPC C rating, we propose that a minimum level of fabric energy performance through improvement to walls, roof, floor and windows, as recommended in the EPC, would apply.

Social Housing Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard

Social housing is already paving the way for energy standards. The first milestone, the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH1) was based on a minimum energy efficiency depending on house and fuel type (specified SAP ratings within bands C or D)[lxxii]. It was due to be met in December 2020. The Scottish Housing Regulator reports that 89% of social rented homes have met the 2020 milestone and social landlords (local authorities and registered social landlords) are working towards the second EESSH2 milestone for all social housing to meet, or be treated as meeting, EPC B, or be as energy efficient as practically possible, by the end of December 2032. The £200m funding we have committed to in the Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund will ensure the sector continues to lead the way for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation.

As set out in the draft of this Strategy, we will review of EESSH2 standard with a view to strengthening and realigning it with wider net zero requirements so that we can work in partnership with social housing to lead the transition to zero emission buildings and avoid the need for further retrofit in the future.

The Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce recommended that this review be undertaken sooner than 2023, the date proposed in the draft of this Strategy. We are currently considering the report and recommendations and will respond in due course.

Mixed-tenure and mixed-use buildings

Mixed-tenure or mixed-use buildings[17] make up a significant share of Scotland’s building stock. Such buildings could include a mixture of owner occupied, private rented and social housing, and also non-domestic uses, or simply multiple ownership within the same tenure. We recognise the challenges that common works present to mixed-use, tenement and mixed-tenure buildings, and that this often presents a barrier to installing energy efficiency and zero emissions heating measures unless property owners act together.

Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies can go some way to supporting delivery in these areas, by making it clearer to building owners the measures most likely to be appropriate in their building and the surrounding area.

For mixed-tenure, multiple ownership, or mixed-use buildings, it may be more helpful for energy efficiency and heat standards to apply to the whole building rather than to individual properties or units, such as individual flats or ground floor commercial premises within a tenement.

We will consult on options for a regulatory approach for mixed-tenure buildings which would see them required to reach a good level of energy efficiency, equivalent to EPC C rating, where technically feasible and cost effective, and install a zero emissions heating supply by 2040-45[18]. In consulting, we will consider whether there are circumstances under which certain households or owners of other multi-tenure or mixed-use buildings are exempt, have a longer period of time to meet standards, or will require a distinct set of standards to comply with.

We propose that specific backstop dates for both energy efficiency and heat in individual building blocks or areas would be determined by their date of zoning (see below section on Regulatory Trigger Points and Area-Based Regulation) – reflecting the need for coordinated measures for example through ‘whole building retrofit’. Therefore, this could see some buildings required to comply with zero emissions standards ahead of 2045.

This approach to zone-based regulation for mixed-tenure and mixed-use buildings may be guided by Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies, ensuring a careful phasing to improve this whole portion of the building stock, year-by-year.

We will introduce regulations from 2023-25 onwards, with an expectation that all of these buildings should meet this standard by 2040-45.

To facilitate the common works that will be essential for decarbonisation of these buildings, such as connection to heat networks or whole building insulation, we will consider bringing forward primary legislation to support this.

Historic Buildings

We will work with Historic Environment Scotland to consider what specific support may be needed within regulations to take account of buildings which are designated as listed or in conservation areas, in meeting requirements for decarbonisation of their heat supply and reducing their demand for heat.

Summary of action we are taking:

87. We are consulting on a reformed domestic EPC assessment process to better align with wider net zero objectives whilst meeting our fuel poverty obligations during summer 2021, and will publish an analysis of this consultation in early 2022.

88. We will bring forward proposals for regulating, to the extent that devolved powers allow, to require the installation of zero or very near zero emissions heat in existing buildings from 2025, with a backstop of 2045.

89. We will phase out the need to install new or replacement fossil fuel boilers, in off gas from 2025 and in on gas areas from 2030, subject to technological developments and decisions by the UK Government in reserved areas.

90. We will bring forward regulations requiring domestic private rented sector properties to achieve an equivalent to EPC C by 2028.

91. We will consult on detailed proposals to introduce regulations from 2023-2025, to require owner occupied private homes to meet a minimum level of energy efficiency (equivalent to EPC C) by 2033.

92. We will aim to bring forward the review of EESSH2 with a view to strengthen and realign the current standard to meet wider net zero requirements.

93. We will consult on introducing regulation to require mixed tenure, multiple ownership and mixed-use buildings such as tenements to reach a good level of energy efficiency (equivalent to EPC C where technically feasible and cost effective), and to install a zero emissions heating supply by 2040-45, including provisions on ensuring cooperation between building owners to carry out works and recover costs.

94. We will work with Historic Environment Scotland to consider what specific support may be needed within regulations for buildings designated as listed or in conservation areas.

Existing Non-domestic buildings

Since 2016, regulations[lxxiii] have required non-domestic buildings over 1000 m2 on sale or rental to a new tenant to carry out an assessment to determine and implement modest energy efficiency improvements. Owners have the option of either implementing the measures identified or lodging a Display Energy Certificate reporting annual energy use.

In the 2018 Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map, we set out our ambition to expand and tighten requirements in the 2016 regulations so that they cover all non-domestic buildings. The Committee on Climate Change, the Climate Assembly, and the Climate Emergency Response Group (amongst others) have recommended the use of in-use energy consumption rather than modelled data. In February 2021, the UK Government consulted on an operational ratings scheme. We are now considering the most effective regulatory approach for non-domestic buildings, taking into account the diversity of building uses and energy demands – ranging from hospitals to small corner shops and large warehouses – and expect non-domestic backstops to apply between 2035 and 2045.

We intend to consult on the regulatory approach in 2022 and introduce regulations by 2025 to require owners to reduce demand for heat through energy efficiency improvements where feasible, and install a zero emissions heating supply, within the extent of our powers.

In the Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map 2018, we proposed that regulations be phased in, starting with the largest buildings with the scope of the regulations increasing over time so that by 2045 all non-domestic buildings would be improved. A phased approach is likely to remain appropriate.

We will consult on our proposed regulatory framework for non-domestic buildings, including trigger points, backstop dates, compliance and enforcement, in 2022.

Public sector buildings

We are committed to showing leadership in the 23,000 public sector buildings[lxxiv] in Scotland. This means that the public sector needs to act more rapidly and in advance of the introduction of further regulations for new-build and existing non-domestic buildings. We will develop and agree through consultation a series of phased targets starting in 2024, with the most difficult buildings like hospitals being decarbonised by 2038, and for all publicly-owned buildings to meet zero emission heating requirements, with a backstop of 2038.

We expect public sector leadership to include the early phase-out of all fossil fuel-based heating systems in the public estate at the earliest feasible dates.

The Scottish public sector should take a zero emissions-first approach to heating system replacement, with new or replacement heating systems designed to be compliant with public bodies duties set under Section 44 of the Climate Change Act and the net zero declarations made by public sector organisations.

To further support public sector leadership, we will develop guidance for minor refurbishments and heating system replacements in the public sector.

Summary of action we are taking:

95. Develop and introduce strengthened regulation for non-domestic buildings, to ensure they reduce demand for heat where feasible and install a zero emissions heating supply; and launch a consultation on these proposals in 2022.

96. For the public sector, we will develop and agree through consultation a series of phased targets starting in 2024, with the most difficult buildings like hospitals being decarbonised by 2038, and for all publicly-owned buildings to meet zero emission heating requirements, with a backstop of 2038.

97. We will develop guidance for minor refurbishments and heating system replacements in the public sector.

Regulatory Trigger Points and Area-Based Regulation

There are a range of natural points where changes happen to a building. These could be used as triggers at which regulation could come in to force including:

  • change of tenancy (when a property is empty);
  • point of sale;
  • major refurbishment;
  • replacement or installation of a new heating system.

In many cases standards triggered at the individual property level will be appropriate. However, in circumstances where there are common or shared issues across an area it may be more appropriate to require action across a defined area, for example:

  • in areas where there is a common building fabric type or construction archetype;
  • in areas where there are mixed-tenure or mixed-use buildings requiring common works; or
  • in areas where a communal or area-based heat solution, such as a heat network, is identified through zoning[19], requiring action to be taken across multiple buildings in tandem.

As we develop our regulatory approach for buildings we will consult on area- or zone-based triggers to complement those at the individual property level. For some of these triggers, such as sale of a property or identification of a heat zone, an appropriate grace period[lxxv] may be needed so as not to place an undue burden on individuals and in some cases achieve changes more cost-effectively.

Zoning may also be important as a means of ensuring action by building owners who have otherwise not received triggers to take action at an individual property level (for example, properties that have not been sold or changed tenancy), ahead of the final compliance dates for the regulations (i.e. 2033 for energy efficiency; 2045 for zero emissions heating). Again, appropriate time would be needed to notify building owners, to allow compliance, and to allow phasing of works for the supply chain, to avoid potential last-minute bottlenecks ahead of backstops.

Summary of action we are taking:

98. We will consult on area or zone-based triggers to complement those at the individual property level.

New Buildings

To ensure that new buildings do not require retrofitting in the future to achieve zero emissions, the Scottish Government is currently developing regulations which will require all new buildings, for which a building warrant is applied for from 2024, to use zero emissions heating (and cooling). The requirement will apply to new non-domestic buildings where a building warrant is applied for from 2024 where technically feasible. This means that, where there is an installed heating system contained within the curtilage of a new building, it will be required to produce zero direct greenhouse gas emissions (at the point of use).

We published our initial Scoping Consultation on the 2024 New Build Heat Standard (NBHS)[lxxvi] on 9 December 2020, and are publishing the analysis of consultation responses alongside this Strategy[lxxvii].

Ahead of 2024, we will seek further evidence and stakeholder input on the development of the NBHS. This includes a consultation – planned for 2022 – which will also set out, in greater detail, the NBHS’ application in practice, including in respect of non-domestic buildings.

In parallel with development of the New Build Heat Standard, we are reviewing energy standards set through building regulations, to deliver further improvements in building energy performance. This will include very high levels of building fabric performance in our new homes, avoiding the need for costly retrofit in the future, contributing towards removing poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty, and making homes more affordable to heat.

This will mean that where a building warrant is applied for from 2024, new buildings must use zero emissions heating as the primary heating source and meet significantly higher energy efficiency standards. In addition, the Shared Policy Programme sets out explicit support for Passivhaus and equivalent standards.

For new public sector buildings, we have developed the Net Zero Carbon Public Buildings Standard, working with the Scottish Futures Trust and other public sector partners. This new standard, published in March 2021, is being progressively applied to new build and major refurbishment projects across the public sector. The voluntary Standard has been adopted by Scottish Ministers and we are working with our wider public sector partners to provide practical support for the application of the Standard to projects, helping public sector bodies to meet their commitments to reach net zero. This will feed into work to introduce regulation and mandatory standards across the non-domestic sector more widely from 2023-25 onwards.

To lead by example, all new homes delivered by Registered Social Landlords and local authorities will be zero emissions by 2026.

This will mean accelerating the introduction of zero emissions heating systems ahead of the 2024 regulations coming into force and making greater use of offsite construction in the social rented sector to deliver high-quality and energy-efficient homes.

Summary of action we will take:

99. Develop and bring into force the 2024 New Build Zero Emissions from Heat Standard, requiring all new buildings to have zero direct emissions heating systems.

100. Review energy standards within current building regulations to deliver further improvement in energy efficiency and emissions reductions in new buildings in 2021 and 2024.

101. Work with wider public sector partners to support the application of the Net Zero Carbon Public Buildings standard that was published in March 2021, and work to introduce regulation across the non-domestic sector more widely from 2023-25 onwards.

UK-Wide regulation

We know that introducing regulation to require changes to the way in which our buildings are heated will impact on the current operation of the heating market, which is currently dominated by fossil fuel (high emission) heating systems. Whilst regulating for emissions, heat and energy efficiency are largely devolved matters, the regulation of energy markets, fossil fuels, consumer protection and competition are reserved to the UK Government. As such, there is a risk that in exercising devolved powers we cut across into areas that are reserved to the UK Government. Given that the UK Government faces the same challenge to decarbonise heat in buildings that we face, we will engage with them ahead of introducing new legislation – as has also been recommended by respondents to the consultation – to secure agreement on changes that are necessary to the energy markets in reserved areas to ensure a just transition to zero emissions heating, or to secure further devolution of the powers needed to make such changes in Scotland.

Regulatory Proposals And Standards

Private Rented Housing (PRS)

  • Consult and legislation between 2021 and 2024
  • Minimum EPC C with all new tenancies between 2025 and 2027
  • All to comply from 2028

Owner Occupier

  • Consult and legislation between 2021 and 2024
  • At trigger points, buildings required to: achieve a good level of energy efficiency, equivalent to EPC C rating (where not technically feasible/cost-effective, minimum levels of Fabric Energy Performance of walls, roof and windows to be met)
  • All to comply from 2033

Owner Occupier and PRS

  • Consult and legislation between 2021 and 2024
  • (Subject to technological developments and decisions by the UK Government in reserved areas) phase out the need to install new or replacement fossil fuel boilers, in off gas from 2025 and in on gas areas from 2030, and install a zero emission heating supply such as electricity, heat network, or over time potentially 100% hydrogen to allow time for gas grid to decarbonise
  • All to comply by 2045

Social Housing

  • EESSH 2 between 2021 and 2022
  • Review of EESSH 2 in 2023
  • Standard requiring a good level of energy efficiency, equivalent to EPC B where technically feasible and cost effective
  • All to comply from 2032

Multi Tenure / Mixed Use

  • Consult and legislation between 2021 and 2024
  • Standard requiring a good level of energy efficiency, equivalent to EPC C where technically feasible and cost effective between 2025 and 2044
  • (Within scope of devolved powers) installation of zero emission heating system such as electricity, heat network, or over time potentially 100% hydrogen to allow time for gas grid to decarbonise between 2025 and 2044
  • All to comply from 2045

Non Domestic Buildings

  • Consult and legislation between 2021 and 2024
  • More challenging energy improvement targets to reduce demand for heat and ensure zero emission heat supply to apply at trigger points between 2025 and 2044
  • All to comply from 2045

Public Sector Buildings

  • Application and roll out of Net Zero Carbon Public Buildings Standard for new and major refurbished buildings development and consultation on a series of phased targets starting in 2024 for all publically-owned buildings to meet zero emission heating requirement, with a backstop of 2038 (for the most difficult buildings like hospitals out to 2045

All New Buildings

  • Consult and legislation between 2021 and 2023
  • New warrants to use zero emissions heating and achieve a very high level of energy efficiency from 2024

Contact

Email: heatinbuildings@gov.scot