Scotland hopes to end the heating of buildings through fossil fuels by 2045.
In order to do this the Scottish Government has drafted a new proposal to end the use of fossil fuels to heat buildings. The proposal, titled the ‘Heat in Buildings Bill’, was released on the 28th of November 2023 and includes information and plans to introduce new energy efficiency requirements that the Scottish Government are working towards to make them mandatory. The proposal also includes plans to phase out any boilers that run on either oil or gas.
This new proposal is in line with the Scottish Government wishing to meet Net Zero by 2045, therefore banning the use of fossil fuels to heat buildings, including commercial and domestic, will help the government on its journey to lowering their emissions significantly.
The Scottish Government is hoping to encourage both homeowners and business owners to look at cleaner and renewable energy sources to heat their homes and workspaces. A representative for the Scottish Government released the following statement:
“In practice, this would mean that homes and non-domestic buildings will instead need to use clean heating systems such as heat pumps, electric storage heaters or heat networks.”
The Scottish Government has stated it will address the challenges rural areas could face, such as power outages, but is encouraging the public in these areas to consider switching from fossil fuels to renewables. The government has also stated that those within cities and towns are in the best position to make the switch, and they are treating those in these areas that are deemed ‘appropriate’ as a priority.
In order to help Scottish homeowners and business owners choose the right renewable energy technology for them, and move away from the use of fossil fuels, the Scottish Government has plans to set up an assessment tool. This tool, once established, will be used to help the public make informed decision, whilst encouraging them to move away from heat systems that are run by fossil fuels, and transition to a cleaner and more sustainable alternative.
The main aim of this new proposal is to cut Scotland’s emissions, Patrick Harvie, Scotland’s Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, states that:
“Heat from our homes and buildings represents around 20% of Scotland’s
carbon emissions, to there is no route to meeting our legal duty to be a net-zero
country by 2045 without making the heat transition.
There will be no ‘one size fits all’ approach to what we’re proposing – we recognise
that different types of buildings in different areas need different solutions – but today
we are giving certainty to households to plan and clarity for businesses to invest,
with a pathway which recognises the cost pressures that so many of us are
Scotland is also releasing new energy efficient standards for homes, which will also affect landlords. In regards to landlords this new minimum energy efficiency standard will come into effect by 2028. Landlords will be unable to rent their leased homes to any new tenant until the building falls under the new standards.
For those who own their own homes, owner-occupied, this new minimum energy efficiency standard will affect them by the end of 2033. To become exempt, homeowners must make the switch away from heating their homes via fossil fuels and switch to a renewable energy system.
These standards have not yet been finalised; however the Scottish Government has claimed that buildings that already have the following may already meet the energy efficiency standards:
- Cavity wall insulation
- Floor insulation
- Good loft insulation
- Heating controls
- Hot water cylinder insulation