Ambitious proposals to switch a nation to clean heating

Fossil fuel systems will be replaced by 2045 and new minimum energy efficiency standards will be set for homes of all tenures, according to plans which have been put out for consultation by the Scottish Government.

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Under legislation to be introduced in 2025, people buying new homes or buildings will be asked to move to a clean heating system, like a heat pump or a connection to a heat network, within a fixed period after the purchase. The proposals follow this year's introduction of a new build heat standard which means that any buildings constructed under a new warrant from April 2024 must have a clean heating system.

Moving ahead faster than the UK

The Heat in Buildings Bill was set out in the Programme for Government announced in September 2023. Zero Carbon Buildings Minister, Patrick Harvie, MSP, stated that if the Bill passes regulations will start to apply from 2028.

The consultation documents note that there are some steps which must be taken by the UK Government to support the actions taken by Scotland, including regulations to require the energy markets to help accelerate the transition and reduce the cost of electricity to make clean heating systems cheaper to run.

Proposals for the Bill include:

  • Private rented homes will be required to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard no later than 2028
  • Owner-occupied homes will be required to meet the same minimum energy efficiency standard by the end of 2033
  • All homes and non-domestic buildings will be required to end their use of polluting heating by the end of 2045

Affordable, fair, and feasible

The Scottish Government recognises that meeting these requirements will be a big task and has reiterated their commitment to a Just Transition which aims to ensure fairness as the country moves towards net zero.

Exemptions are included in the proposals which will

  • provide extra time to meet the standard for those who need it
  • Take account of unique buildings or circumstances
  • Identify cases where the standard can’t, or should not, be met
  • Make it easy for people to appeal when they feel the requirements are unfair or incorrect

Further exemptions for first-time buyers or certain businesses will also be considered.

Representing our members

Propertymark will respond to the consultation on behalf of our members. If you would like to feed in any comments, please send them to [email protected].

We also encourage individuals to respond and add their experience and insight.