Zero Emission Taskforce recommendation report: Scottish Government response

Sets out our response to the Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce report.

Chapter 1 Introduction

To meet our 2030 climate change target, over 1 million homes (and the equivalent of 50,000 non-domestic buildings) need to be converted to use zero emissions heating systems.

Achieving that will require us to accelerate the installation of zero emissions heating systems from recent rates of a few thousand per year, to around 200,000 per year in the latter part of this decade.

There are approximately 600,000 homes for social rent in Scotland, and social landlords have been making progress on energy efficiency and decarbonisation for many years. This is therefore a key sector for the change needed and we welcome partnership working with social landlords to meet this shared challenge for the benefit of tenants.

The scale of the challenge is significant, but so too are the opportunities: greener and more efficient homes for social tenants, as well as green jobs in a burgeoning clean heat sector, with new skills and training across Scotland.

The Heat in Buildings Strategy, which we published in October 2021, sets out a bold package of policies to tackle this issue, across investment, supply chain development, regulation and innovation.

The Scottish Government’s Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund supports projects to deploy zero emissions heat, improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty. The fund will make £200 million available over the course of this parliament - investing in a sector already leading the way in the heat transition. The National Public Energy Agency, to be established by 2025, will coordinate delivery and build public understanding and awareness of heat and energy efficiency work. In advance of a dedicated Agency being in place, a virtual Agency will be established in-house from September 2022, to start the transition process.

As we review energy efficiency standards for social housing, we will work with the sector to understand the costs and the funding and financial mechanisms needed to secure a fair and just transition.

In addition to retrofitting our existing homes, we will invest to support delivery of 110,000 affordable homes over the next ten years. We will continue to support affordable housing providers who are installing zero emissions heating systems in new-build homes ahead of regulatory requirements that will be introduced from 2024.

ZEST was asked to consider and provide practical recommendations on what is required in social housing to achieve Scotland’s targets. The Taskforce comprised strategic leaders and practitioners who were actively involved in delivering zero carbon initiatives in social housing and well positioned to provide practical recommendations on what is required to achieve the Scottish Government’s climate change targets.

The full ZEST report which was published in August 2021 can be read here: Achieving net zero in social housing: Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce report - (

Our response is structured to mirror how the ZEST report sets out the Taskforce’s recommendations and actions.

Chapters 2 to 8 detail the government’s response to the 8 recommendations and 35 actions made under the following Themes:

1. Supporting a just transition

2. Structuring and design of capital investment

3. Providing social landlords with certainty

4. Understanding the existing stock

5. Shared learning and communication to support technological solutions

6. Quality control and skills

7. Understanding the wider impacts

For ease, we have numbered the recommendations and actions, and they are addressed in the same order they appear in the ZEST report.



Back to top