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Heat in Buildings Strategy for Scotland

Objectives of the consultation

This draft Heat in Building Strategy outlines the steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Scotland’s homes, workplaces and community buildings. The Strategy covers both energy efficiency and decarbonisation of heating systems, and also encompasses the update to the Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map 2018.

The Scottish Government committed to taking action to reduce emissions caused by heating buildings and to rapidly scale up deployment rates of zero and low emissions heating systems. This draft Strategy builds more detail around the actions set out in the Buildings Chapter of the recent Climate Change Plan Update published in December 2020.

This consultation sought evidence and views on the proposed actions to meet climate change targets, whilst maximising economic opportunities, ensuring a just transition and addressing fuel poverty.

The consultation closed on 30 April 2021.

Supporting papers

To download the consultation document follow the link below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE very much welcomes the overall approach set out in this consultation on decarbonisation. We particularly support it, in particular:

  • Having an interim target for 2030, which allows you to track progress, build supply chains and increase accountability.
  • The focus on energy efficiency.
  • Defining a set of outcomes; and we also broadly support the proposed outcomes.
  • The dual objectives of tackling both fuel poverty and climate change together; as part of this, we very much support the proposals for reform of the EPC system to better reflect and incentivise energy efficiency and low carbon heat – see question 48 and associated appendices.
  • The proposals which combine the spectrum of possible tools for action, including public and private financing, regulations, incentives, and consumer / householder engagement
  • The acknowledgement of the need to balance speed with continuous gathering of evidence, lessons learning and improvements.
  • The acknowledgement that supply chains need to develop, and that this will require government support, including support to retrofit supply chains and the adoption of PAS 2035/30 on the government’s delivery programmes.

We also agree with the assessment that some aspects of the strategy will need further assessment, for example, how best to approach multi-occupancy buildings, and the extent of energy efficiency and heat pump deployment across different parts of the building stock, depend on characteristics such as climate, local site conditions and exposure, heritage constraints etc.

We have reservations mainly on the following specific points:

  • High reliance on decarbonisation of the gas grid, which is uncertain.
  • The role of heat networks, and especially existing ones. Without very clear and firm plans in place, we strongly recommend against the current statement that “Buildings connected to existing heat networks, powered using natural gas, will be considered to be future proofed and net zero ready. However, these heat networks will need to decarbonise by 2040-45”.
  • The position favouring energy from waste: this is against the circular economy principles and has a number of environmental drawbacks, so must not be considered on a par with other “true” waste heat sources.

To read the full CIBSE response, follow the link below.