One million Scottish homes, and 50,000 non-domestic buildings, will convert to using low and zero emissions heating systems by 2030, under plans published by the Scottish Government for consultation today.

The Heat in Buildings strategy sets out the vision for transforming the way buildings are heated in line with Scotland’s updated Climate Change Plan, to help meet the toughest emissions reduction target the Government has set.

The further target is to ensure all buildings in Scotland reach zero emissions by 2045. 

Property owners would require to take action over time to install energy efficiency measures and zero emission heating systems such as heat pumps and heat networks. Longer term, hydrogen may have an important role to play: the paper recognises that there is no single technology that will deliver the target.

Ministers are "committed to taking action to rapidly scale up deployment rates so that at least 64,000 homes install renewable heating systems per year by 2025, and possibly many more".

Achieving the goals will require major changes in physical infrastructure, including energy networks and generation. Over the course of the next Parliament, the Scottish Government will invest almost £1.6bn to help secure the accelerated rollout. A substantial proportion of this will be targeted at supporting those least able to pay for the transition, including those in fuel poverty. 

The strategy considers the actual and potential finance routes available for the additional private investment that will be required, supported by a new Green Heat Finance Taskforce.

 

Action would also be needed from the UK Government to enable faster deployment of zero emissions heating in Scotland, including taking early decisions on the future of the gas network and increasing funding for UK-wide delivery schemes.

Launching the consultation, Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions arising from heating our homes and buildings is one of the most important things we can do to help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change, given that heating accounts for more than half the energy we consume as a society.

"We are therefore committed to rapidly scaling up action on decarbonising heating, but doing so in a way that ensures that our fuel poverty objectives and our commitment to tackling climate change work together, ensuring a fair and just transition to net zero emissions. This strategy must play a part in helping everyone to have a warm home that supports their good health and wellbeing.

"The draft strategy sets out our vision to achieving this and actions that we will take using the Scottish Parliament’s powers, while also demonstrating just how critical it is that the UK Government takes further action, and faster action, in areas of policy it controls if we are to achieve our respective net-zero ambitions."

He added: "The changes needed to make our homes and buildings fit for a net-zero future, and to help avoid potentially serious damage to our climate for current and future generations of Scots, will touch on all our lives and are likely to require us all to take action. It is therefore only right that everyone in Scotland has an opportunity to feed in and shape our Heat in Buildings Strategy and I would urge everyone to take part in our consultation."

Click here to access the consultation. The deadline for responses is 30 April 2021.

Ministers have also published a call for evidence to support the development of the future Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, seeking input on the range of support mechanisms for development and delivery of large-scale low and zero carbon heat in buildings projects; and a separate consultation on Scottish skills requirements for energy efficiency, zero emissions and low carbon heating systems, microgeneration and heat networks for homes.