Energy efficiency - regulation in existing non-domestic buildings: call for evidence

We are seeking evidence relating to the regulation of heat and associated emissions in non-domestic buildings.

1. Introduction

The 2018 Energy Efficient Scotland: Route Map set out a programme for the review of regulations on the energy performance of existing non-domestic buildings. Subsequently, the Scottish Government published its Heat in Buildings Strategy – Achieving Net Zero Emissions In Scotland's Buildings in October 2021. This strategy confirms that the Scottish Government will develop a new regulatory framework for zero emissions heating and energy efficiency in non-domestic buildings by 2025.

The framework will build on the Scottish Government's existing commitments to extend regulation to improve energy efficiency and, where possible within our legal competence, to require the adoption of zero emissions heating systems. The aim is to ensure that all non-domestic buildings are energy efficient and use zero emissions heating and cooling systems by 2045. The Scottish Government will consult on the new regulatory framework during 2022, with a view to introducing regulations by 2025.

1.1 Exclusions

This Call for Evidence is not seeking evidence relating to:

  • the regulation of energy efficiency or zero emissions heating associated with buildings which are used wholly for domestic residential purposes.
  • Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies
  • Building Assessment Reports as required by the Heat Networks (Scotland) Act 2021.
  • the proposed 2024 zero emissions heat standard for new non-domestic buildings.
  • the proposed 2038 target for zero emissions heat for public sector buildings.
  • support and funding programmes for decarbonising non-domestic buildings.


This Call for Evidence is seeking evidence of existing approaches (regulatory or non-regulatory schemes & programmes) to improve the energy efficiency and drive the conversion of non-domestic buildings to zero emissions heating sources. We are seeking examples which can operate at the level of individual buildings, building groups or regions.

Evidence presented should not be limited to the United Kingdom. We would also welcome evidence related to regulations which are applied to the energy systems operating in buildings but which are not directly related to CO2e emissions. Evidence presented should include approaches which are considered both successful and unsuccessful.

1.2 Future consultation on policy approach

This Call for Evidence is the first stage is developing a new regulatory framework for energy efficiency and zero emission heat in non-domestic buildings. Following this Call for Evidence, a formal public consultation on our detailed proposals for regulation in Scotland will be carried out in 2022.

1.3 Options for Regulation

The CO2e emissions associated with the performance of existing non-domestic buildings during operation can be linked to both the form and fabric of each building and the building's occupancy. We are seeking evidence that addresses both of these.

We are seeking evidence from stakeholders concerning three possible approaches to regulation for energy efficiency and the use of zero emissions heating in existing non-domestic buildings:

a) Measures-based approach – specifying a list of improvement measures that must be considered to reduce the energy demand associated with a non-domestic building. This could involve developing the existing Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-domestic Building Regulations 2016.

b) Minimum standards approach – setting a standard for the building's operation under standardised conditions, most typically based on achieving a certain EPC rating for modelled energy use or emissions.

c) Operational ratings approach – using the actual energy consumption and CO2e emissions from use of non-domestic buildings, as the basis for a regulatory approach.

Q1: Can you provide examples of existing regulatory frameworks which use any or a combination of these approaches?



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