Heat in buildings strategy: easy read

This is the easy read version of the Heat in Buildings Strategy summary document.

Heat in Buildings Strategy - Easy Read Version


The Scottish Government want to reduce harmful climate change emissions from Scotland's buildings. This strategy says how we will do this. A strategy is a plan.

It will also help people save energy and reduce heating bills.

We do not want homes to add to climate change. Climate change is when there are long-term changes in the temperature and weather which are harmful for people and the environment.

Our goal is to have zero emissions from buildings. Zero emissions means that no harmful gases are put into the atmosphere.

We will do this by insulating our homes so they are warmer and cost less to heat, and changing the systems we use to make heat in homes.

It is important this is fair to everyone. Nobody should be in fuel poverty. Fuel poverty means that a household has to spend too much of its money on fuel and energy.

We asked what people thought. People told us that they supported our vision and the actions we would take.

We updated the Strategy from what people told us. We will continue to listen to people.

The Strategy says what we plan to do. We will increase funding for home energy projects.

We will set up a National Public Energy Agency. The Agency will raise public awareness and help more people change their heating systems. They will work closely with other services.

We will need private funding to reach our goals. This Strategy looks at funding and what work is needed.

The Scottish Government are acting where we can. However we do not have all the powers to deliver zero emissions.

The UK Government should say how they will reach zero emissions. We ask them to act quickly and fairly.

Scotland's Homes and Buildings

Making buildings waste less energy through energy efficiency is the first step to zero emissions. This can help reduce energy costs. But this will not be enough to meet our zero emissions goal.

Buildings that use fossil fuels must change to zero emissions heating.

We need to fit zero emissions heating systems, such as heat pumps. We are already doing this, but we need to do it faster.

Changing how we heat buildings will affect everyone in Scotland. It will change the buildings we use.

We are developing a people-centred strategy that will:

  • Inform about energy and zero emissions heating
  • Help people make Scottish Government policies and local energy plans
  • Raise awareness of the support and advice.

We will put more money into advice services. These will inform and advise people.

We need to support people and tackle fuel poverty. We will make plans in the Fuel Poverty Strategy.

Zero emissions and heat running costs

Zero emissions systems will often cost more than the old systems.

We need to change buildings to end fuel poverty and protect vulnerable people.

We will follow these principles:

1. Energy efficiency does not increase fuel poverty

2. We will help people in fuel poverty to manage their running costs

3. We will look at how our projects affect fuel poverty

4. People in fuel poverty are supported to lower costs

5. We will ask the UK government to make changes needed

6. Information should be accessible.

We want to protect people from being sold the wrong things from companies. Consumer organisations are there to protect the public.

Consumer protection is controlled by the UK Government. However, the Scottish Government are working so people get the best service.

Investing money in the change

Changing to zero emissions heat is an opportunity. It will help support jobs and the economy.

The Scottish Government has funding to build new better systems. We need to use this money in the right way. We will support vulnerable people.

Our priorities are:

1. Support those least able to pay

2. Put money into making homes and buildings warmer, and changing their heating systems

3. Show people the best examples of zero emissions heating. We will share what we learn

4. Put money into new ideas and technology.


We need to support people to change to zero emissions heating.

We have funding to make buildings use energy in the best way. We have funding to support better heating.

We will spend money to help people in fuel poverty have lower bills.

Businesses can get free and independent advice and support. They can get loans to help them use energy the best way and have zero emissions heat.

We will support social housing landlords. Social homes will be upgraded to use energy in the best way.

We will support community projects that want to move to zero emissions heat.

We need to change buildings like hospitals to zero emissions heat. We will put money into the public sector to make this happen.


The cost to change all our buildings to zero emissions is very high. Public sector funding will pay for some of this but we need private funding too.

We will set up a group to understand how we can get the private funding we need.

The cost of changing to zero emissions heat is high compared to the cost of gas. We ask the UK Government to look at energy prices so more people will change.

Getting Scotland's Energy Networks ready

Moving to zero emissions heat will mean changes to our energy network. We will change how we heat buildings. We will also make big changes to transport and industry.

We need to think about the effects this will have. We will ask people for their views on this next year.

We will move to more heating systems that use electricity. Therefore we need a good national electricity system.

Our local electricity networks will need to be able to deliver electricity. We will work with electricity companies to make sure this happens.

We will have to stop using natural gas. We might be able to use other kinds of gas.

We are working with the UK Government and organisations to understand what role other kinds of gas could play.

We are making new rules so new heat networks must use low and zero emissions heating.

We need people to invest in heat networks. We are helping people understand where they can invest in heat networks.

Heat networks are complicated projects. They need special skills. We will fund projects across Scotland.

Place-based approach

Moving to zero emissions heating will work differently in different communities. It will be important for local communities to make decisions that work best for them.

Plans will be made in partnership with local councils. They will set out plans across their local council area.

We will change our planning system to support greener developments. Greener means better for the environment. This will include a move to zero emissions heating.

Setting rules for zero emissions buildings

To reach our goals we need to set rules for zero emissions heating and using energy.

We want to change the law so everyone knows they must change to zero emissions heating.

We are working to set rules for private rented properties. They should use energy the best way they can.

We want to set new rules for houses that people own and live in. They should use energy the best way they can.

Most social rented homes met old energy standards. Social landlords are working towards all social housing using energy the best way they can.

Mixed-use buildings are buildings that might have homes and businesses. The rules might need to be for the whole building. We will look at ways to make sure they use energy the best way they can.

We are looking at the best way to set laws for business buildings. We will ask people for their views next year.

We want public sector buildings to make these changes as soon as possible. We will set targets for zero emissions heat.

When will the new rules make people change their buildings?

There are times when changes happen to a building. This could be when the building changes tenants, is sold or new heating is fitted. These can be good times to change to zero emissions heating and to insulate the building.

Laws might need to be used in mixed-use buildings. They may need to have a heating system fitted that is for everyone in the building.

The rules will say when laws need to be used for a building.

The Scottish Government is working on laws that say new buildings must have zero emissions heating.

Supporting Scotland's supply chain

To reach our goals we will need more supplies and skilled staff.

Lots of new jobs will be made as we move to zero emissions heat.

We will look at what jobs we need people to do. We will look at the best way to support people into the right jobs. We will also look at how to grow youth employment.

We will work with industry on a new plan. This will make sure we can get the supplies we need to reach our goals.

We will make sure people have the skills needed to do the work.

Working with the UK Government

The Scottish Government does not have all the powers to reach our goals. We need the UK Government to make changes too.

Changes need to be made so energy companies will play their part in the change to zero emissions heating. Changes need to be made to share the costs in a fair way.

We need to work together or give more powers to the Scottish Government. This will allow us to reach our goals.


Email: heatinbuildings@gov.scot

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