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Scotland to significantly reduce carbon emissions in Homes and Buildings by 2030


Scottish Government has now published its long awaited Heat in Buildings Strategy which sets out Scotland’s vision for achieving net zero emissions in Scotland’s buildings.

This strategy was consulted on earlier in the year, with the intention to gather evidence and views on the government’s proposed actions for meeting climate change targets, maximising economic opportunities, and addressing fuel poverty.

6 months later and we now have a strategy which establishes a clearer pathway to zero emissions buildings by 2045 and which details a series of short-term actions and long-term commitments to accelerate the transformation of the country’s building stock.

This pathway is set to require investment of at least £1.8 billion over the course of this parliament and is believed to reduce emissions in Scotland’s homes and buildings by more than two thirds by 2030.

Elmhurst has reviewed the strategy and has highlighted some of the key points raised within the document.

Existing Homes

It is estimated that 45% of Scotland’s homes have a good level of energy performance, equivalent to EPC rating of band C. However, to meet net zero targets there is a need to upgrade Scotland’s homes to make them more energy efficient. It is estimated that over a million homes will need to convert to zero emission heating by 2030. Key actions are presented below:

  • All homes should meet EPC band C by 2033 (there should be a good level of energy efficiency within homes by 2030)
  • New Minimum energy efficiency standards regulations to be introduced in the private rented sector by 2025. This will require all private rented properties to meet EPC band C by 2028
  • Proposed that new regulations will be introduced between 2023-2025 which will establish a minimum energy efficiency standard of EPC band C for owner-occupied homes, which will need to be met by 2033
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Non-Domestic Buildings (Existing)

By 2030 the Scottish Government aims to convert 50,000 non-domestic properties to use zero emission heating.

  • Scottish Government intends to consult on the regulatory approach for heating non-domestic in 2022 and introduce regulations by 2025 to require owners to reduce demand for heat through energy efficiency improvements where feasible, and install a zero emissions heating supply
  • Scottish government aims to develop and agree (through consultation) a series of phased targets starting in 2024, with the most difficult buildings (such as hospitals) being decarbonised by 2038, and for all publicly-owned buildings to meet zero emission heating requirements, with a backstop of 2038.

Elmhurst currently sits on the working group which is set to advise on regulations for heat in existing non-domestic buildings.

New Buildings

The Scottish Government is currently developing regulations which will require all new buildings, for which a building warrant is applied for from 2024, to use zero emissions heating. This will likely be informed by the analysis published off the back of the New Build Heat Standard: scoping consultation.

Whole House Retrofit (PAS 2035)

Scottish Government has agreed to adopt the UK PAS 2035/30 standards for their deliver programmes, and will consider the use of the UK government endorsed TrustMark quality assurance framework to ensure compliance with these standards.

Elmhurst’s Response

Elmhurst Energy’s Managing Director, Stuart Fairlie, comments: “The release of this strategy represents an important next step from the Scottish Government in addressing climate change and fuel poverty. We welcome the short and long term actions outlined within the document, which should see carbon emissions within Scotland’s building stock significantly reduced over the next decade. We now await the regulations and follow up consultations which will ensure that the strategy results in clear action”.

View strategy in full: https://www.gov.scot/publications/heat-buildings-strategy-achieving-net-zero-emissions-scotlands-buildings/