New Build Heat Standard: consultation - part two analysis

The New Build Heating Standard (NBHS) consultation: Part II was an opportunity for the Scottish Government to understand a wide variety of stakeholders’ views on a number of specific proposals. This independent analysis presents a report on these views both quantitively and qualitatively.

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Respondent Profile and Analysis Approach

Respondent profile

In total, 112 consultation responses were received. Most were submitted via the online consultation platform, Citizen Space. Those received in an alternative format, for example an email or PDF document, were entered into Citizen Space by the Scottish Government.

Individuals provided 21 responses to the consultation; the remaining 91 were from organisations. To aid analysis, each organisation was assigned a sector or type. The largest share of organisational responses came from property developers and builders, trade bodies in the energy sector, and local authorities, as shown in the table below.




Property developer or builder



Energy – trade body



Local Authority



Energymanufacturer / supplier



Construction related trade / membership body



NGO / Third sector



Public body









Within the property developer or builder category are 23 responses received as part of a co-ordinated campaign by Homes for Scotland. Of these, 16 gave a near identical email response, and each of these has been included in the analysis as a separate response as each came from a different organisation[2]. This response was not structured according to the consultation questions, but most of the key points aligned with the themes evident in other respondents' answers to Q1 and Q2. As such, this co-ordinated response has been included in the analysis of these questions.

The other seven[3] responses shared similar wording, based on answers to each question which had been provided by Homes for Scotland. These answers have been included in the analysis of each question.

Analysis approach

The Lines Between was commissioned to provide robust, independent analysis of the consultation responses, including the engagement events. This report presents the range of views expressed by respondents under each section of the consultation document.

Quantitative analysis

There were six closed questions in the consultation. A full breakdown of the number and percentage response to each question can be found in the body of the report and is also included in Appendix A to allow for an easy comparison. Please note that figures in the tables may not add to 100% due to rounding.

As not all respondents answered each closed question, the quantitative analysis in the main report is based on those who answered each question. Each table shows:

  • The number of respondents from the total sample of 112 who selected each response, and the corresponding percentage.
  • The number and percentage response among those answering each question, broken down by individual and organisation responses and by type of organisation.

Qualitative analysis

Qualitative analysis outlines the key themes identified in responses to each question. The analyst team coded each response against a coding framework which was developed based on a review of the consultation questions and a sample of responses. In a small number of instances where alternative format responses contained information that did not align to specific questions, analysts exercised judgement about the most relevant place to include this material for analysis purposes.

A few organisations provided detailed responses reflecting their subject matter expertise. There is not scope in this report to fully summarise these responses; however, the responses are referenced where possible. Where appropriate, quotes from individuals and organisations are included to illustrate key points and to provide useful examples, insights, and contextual information. Full responses to the consultation, where permission for publication was granted, can be found on the Scottish Government's website[4].

Limitations of the analysis

When reviewing the analysis presented in this report, we would ask that the reader consider:

  • A public consultation means anyone can express their views; individuals and organisations with an interest in the topic are more likely to respond than those without. This self-selection means the respondents' views do not necessarily represent the views of the population.
  • In some instances, the context of a comment was unclear from the wording of a response. For example, a respondent may not have specified whether they are expressing a view about new builds or about all buildings, or if they are describing a situation that involves new domestic buildings or all new build buildings. If the context was not clear, analysts assumed that questions were answered in the context of both domestic and non-domestic new builds, except for Q2 and Q11 which were specifically about domestic and non-domestic new builds respectively.
  • More broadly, it is possible that some respondents have not fully read or engaged with the consultation paper, leading to answers which do not directly address the questions. These answers have been noted in the report.
  • In a few cases, responses from energy sector trade bodies or manufacturers provided background information about the benefits of certain heating systems. These have been included in the analysis where directly relevant to the question.
  • There are other instances where respondents make factual claims, but do not give evidence to support their statements. In those instances, we have used language to highlight that the comments are the belief or perception of the respondent.

Weight of opinion

Qualitative analysis of open-ended questions does not permit the quantification of results. To assist the reader in interpreting the findings, we use a framework to convey the most to least commonly identified themes across responses to each question:

  • The most common / second most common theme; the most frequently identified.
  • Many respondents; more than 30, another prevalent theme.
  • Several respondents; 10-29, a recurring theme.
  • Some respondents; 5-9, another theme.
  • A few / a small number of respondents; <5, a less commonly mentioned theme.
  • One / two respondents; a singular comment or a view identified in two responses.



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