Heat networks delivery plan

Sets out how provisions of the Heat Networks Scotland Act 2021 and wider policy will contribute to increasing heat networks in Scotland.

Annex A: Summary of actions we will take

Ambition and Targets

  • We will consult on a heat networks target for 2035 in early 2023.  This will be set by 1 October 2023.

Regulatory Regime

  • We will consult on building assessment reports and heat network zoning proposals, regulations and guidance in Summer 2022.
  • We will consult on proposals and regulations for consenting and key heat network assets in early 2023.
  • We will consult on proposals and regulations for permitting in early 2023.
  • We will consult on proposals and regulations for licensing and powers of licence holders in early summer 2023.
  • In 2022, we will commission work to test and develop an approach so that existing heat networks can develop Decarbonisation Plans, which we propose should be mandatory.  We will publish a Local Authority Cost Strategy prior to the regulatory system becoming operational in 2024, and will work with local authorities and stakeholders to ensure the provision of relevant resources in order for local authorities to meet their duties under the 2021 Act. 
  • We will implement the Heat Networks (Scotland) Act 2021 to put in  place a functioning regulatory regime by 2024.

Guiding Development

  • We will update the LHEES methodology and related guidance to ensure that it fulfils the requirement to consider whether areas are particularly suitable for a heat network.
  • We will develop a more detailed assessment to help local authorities determine whether an area is particularly suitable for a heat network ahead of designating a heat network zone.
  • We will introduce a new Build Heat Standard requiring new buildings consented from 2024 to install only zero direct emission heat sources.
  • Subject to devolved competence, we bring forward regulatory proposals to require the installation of zero or very near zero emissions heating systems in existing buildings. 
  • We will consult in 2022-23 on a series of phased targets for all publicly owned buildings to meet zero emission heating requirements by 2038.
  • Subject to devolved competence, we will consult on proposals to address the issue of demand assurance.  In doing so, we will consider the UK Government’s proposals to mandate connection to heat networks in England.



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