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.


1. The latest available figures are based on 2018 data.

2. For further details, including outputs using other assumptions, see the First National Assessment, to be published soon on

3. Total domestic, industrial and commercial non-electrical heat demand.

4. The Climate Change Committee estimated in 2015 that with government support, heat networks could provide 18% of UK heat demand by 2050 in a least-cost pathway to meeting UK carbon targets.

5. The First National Assessment sets a threshold of at least 500MWh of heat per year for its definition of an anchor load.

6. LHEES and accompanying Delivery Plans will drive area-based planning and delivery of the heat transition. They will act as a prospectus for where government funding and private investment for heat decarbonisation should be targeted. We have worked in partnership with COSLA to develop a statutory duty on local authorities to produce LHEES, so that Strategies and Delivery Plans are in place for all local authority areas by the end of 2023.

7. Source: A Scottish Government estimate using BEIS' 2018 energy and emissions projections for grid emissions intensity, 8% distribution losses and a co-efficient of performance of 2.7.

8. Emissions savings would vary further with other scenarios where connecting buildings have a greater variety of incumbent heating systems.

9. There are powers available within the 2021 Act to assist licence holders in the development and maintenance of their heat networks (such as statutory undertaker rights).

10. To be published soon on

11. The 2021 Act states "Each local authority must carry out a review to consider whether one or more areas in its area is likely to be particularly suitable for the construction and operation of a heat network." Details of what must be considered in the review for heat network zoning is set out in more detail in Part 3 (Sections 47, 48) of the 2021 Act.

12. Source: Analysis by Scottish Government using Non-Domestic Analytics.

13. Examples include heat networks in Lerwick, Skagen, 8 others in Denmark associated with solar thermal and large scale storage including in Silkeborg.

14. See Chapter 2, Contribution to eradicating fuel poverty section.

15. EfW is the process of creating energy, in the form of electricity and/or heat, from incinerating waste, specifically residual (non-recyclable) waste – see:

Scottish Environment Protection Agency - energy from waste

16. Source: as yet unpublished research for Scottish Enterprise by Delta EE

17. Research to help the supply chain - Energy Saving Trust

18. This could include the Heat Networks (Metering and Billing) Regulations, the 2021 Act (and secondary legislation to be developed) and any regulations resulting from UK Government proposals on the Heat Networks Market Framework.

19. The post adoption statement for the HBS SEA will be published soon and made available through the SEA Database.



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