Proposals for a Heat in Buildings Bill: Consultation

View of houses in rural Perthshire
Alan Robertson

A consultation has been launched by the Scottish Government into make new laws around the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings and the way we heat those buildings.

Like many other countries, Scotland has a legal target to reach ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 requires us to reach net zero by 2045, as well as to achieve a 75% reduction in emissions by 2030 and a 90% reduction in emissions by 2040.

The way we heat our homes, workplaces and other buildings is the third-largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland. This is because the “direct emissions heating systems” that most of us use – such as gas and oil boilers – produce emissions when we use them to heat our buildings or when we need hot water.

A supporting consultation paper has been published - ‘Changing the way we heat our homes and buildings’ and a range of thematic impact assessments including an Islands Impact AssessmentUndoubtably, the drive to more efficient energy systems will have an impact on rural and island communities and so it is import that their ideas and concerns are heard through the consultation process. 

Zero Carbon Buildings Minister Patrick Harvie said:

“Heat from our homes and buildings represents around 20% of Scotland’s carbon emissions. So there is no route to meeting our legal duty to be a net zero country by 2045 without making the heat transition. Making this transition can also liberate households and businesses from volatile fossil fuel prices.

“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 currently facing. 

“We’ve already passed regulations for new buildings, to apply from next year. If Parliament passes our Bill in 2025, then regulations will start to apply from 2028, with many more buildings moving away from fossil fuel through the 2030s. That will see Scotland on by far the most ambitious path within the UK, with a deployment of clean heating systems at a scale and pace very much faster than at present."

Responses can be made through the Scottish Government’s consultation hub, Citizen Space ( Access and respond to this consultation online at Proposals for a heat in buildings bill - Consultation. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 8 March 2024.

If you are unable to respond using the consultation hub, please send your response, including the completed Respondent Information Form to: