Heat in buildings strategy: fairer Scotland duty

Summary document of the Fairer Scotland Duty assessment process which has been carried out for the Heat in Buildings Strategy.

Summary of aims and expected outcomes of strategy, proposal, programme or policy

The Heat in Buildings Strategy

The Heat in Buildings Strategy sets out a pathway to zero emissions buildings by 2045 and details a series of near-term actions, as well as a range of further, longer-term commitments to accelerate the transformation of the nation's building stock. It sets out the principles we will apply to ensure our actions to decarbonise heat do not have a detrimental impact on fuel poverty rates.

The Strategy sets out a vision for over 1 million homes in Scotland to convert to zero emissions heating by 2030 and the equivalent of 50,000 non-domestic buildings. Emissions from heat in buildings will have to fall by 68% by 2030 as compared to 2020. To maintain progress towards our statutory emissions reduction targets, heating installations must scale up to provide at least 124,000 systems installed between 2021 and 2026. The installation rate will need to peak at over 200,000 new systems per annum in the late 2020's which is above the natural replacement rate for boilers.

In terms of energy efficiency, the Strategy sets out that where technically and legally feasible and cost-effective, by 2030 a large majority of buildings should achieve a good level of energy efficiency, which for homes is at least equivalent to an EPC Band C, with all homes meeting at least this standard by 2033.

The Strategy is aligned with wider Scottish Government policy on housing, energy, and climate change. The actions it sets out are reflected in our Housing to 2040 Strategy, which also presents further details on how Scotland's housing can support achievement of our net zero ambitions, whilst also delivering against wider objectives.

The publication of the Heat in Buildings Strategy is only the first step. As we roll out its actions, we will continue to build the evidence base and apply that knowledge to our policy design and to our programmes, mitigating risks of unintended consequences, tracking progress, and learning by doing in order to adjust where unintended consequences nevertheless arise.

The Heat in Buildings Strategy forms the foundation of our ongoing work, which will build on the insight and evidence generated by the consultation and wider input. Our next steps include:

  • We have committed to publish a refreshed Energy Strategy and an Energy Just Transition Plan in Spring 2022. This will allow us to further refine our approach to heat in buildings, ensuring a coherent whole-system view and further embedding our evolving policies within our wider approach to delivering on a just transition.
  • We will set out our approach to eradicating fuel poverty in the Fuel Poverty Strategy by the end of 2021.
  • We will develop a bespoke Public Engagement Strategy for heat in buildings.
  • We will develop our approach to heat in islands and remote rural contexts in our forthcoming Islands Energy Strategy in 2022 (which will complement the existing National Islands Plan).
  • We will co-produce with the sector a Supply Chain Delivery Plan focussed on the development of energy efficiency and zero emissions heat in the buildings supply chain in Scotland.
  • We will establish a Green Heat Finance Taskforce by the end of this year.

Transforming Scotland's building stock will create numerous opportunities for investment and regeneration as well as the realisation of wider social, environmental and health outcomes. The Strategy sets out a series of wider outcomes that will benefit Scotland's people and places. These Heat in Buildings outcomes align with our National Performance Framework and will guide decision making and support the development of a holistic people centred approach to the transition ahead:

1. Heating our homes and buildings no longer contributes to climate change

2. The cost of heating our homes and businesses is affordable and those occupying them have a high comfort level

3. We have reduced our demand for heat and poor energy efficiency is no longer a driver of fuel poverty

4. The systems we use are smart and resilient and provide us with a reliable source of heat

5. We have a secure supply chain with high value local sustainable jobs across Scotland and people have been helped to transition to new, secure jobs as part of a just transition

6. Our indoor and outdoor spaces are filled with cleaner air

7. Our heating systems enable and efficiently use Scotland's renewable energy resources

8. Electricity and non-electrical fuels are produced from sustainable sources in a way which is consistent with net zero emissions and biodiversity targets

9. Our heating systems enable the flexible and stable operation of our energy networks


Email: heatinbuildings@gov.scot

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