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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-16779

  • Asked by: Stephen Kerr, MSP for Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 5 April 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Patrick Harvie on 27 April 2023


To ask the Scottish Government whether it will clarify what role local authorities will play in an area-based approach to heat decarbonisation, and what additional support it will offer to local authorities for the preparation and delivery of their Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies.


All 32 local authorities in Scotland are currently working on producing their first Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) and Delivery Plan, in line with their statutory duty to publish their first iteration by the end of 2023 and then update them every five years. LHEES will set out the long-term plan for decarbonising heat in buildings and improving energy efficiency across an entire local authority area. LHEES will be the principal mechanism for locally led heat planning and will support local planning, coordination and delivery of the heat transition across Scotland.

To support the development of LHEES the Scottish Government published guidance in October 2022 setting out what is required when developing a Strategy and Delivery Plan. In addition, a methodology, made up of practitioner guidance, models, tools and templates, provides a practical approach that local authorities can use to develop their LHEES. However, this methodology is not mandatory allowing local authorities flexibility to respond to local variations.

Multi-year funding for local authorities to resource the development of their LHEES has been agreed in partnership with COSLA and began in 2022/23. This funding could cover, for example, recruitment of an LHEES coordinator or the procurement of technical services from consultants.

The Scottish Government is continuing to support local authorities to improve their knowledge and skills to develop their LHEES and are working with Zero Waste Scotland to provide on-going capacity building support including workshops, online video tutorials and one to one support. To help identify where local authorities would benefit from further support and understand progress the Scottish Government is in regular contact with local authorities including through quarterly monitoring and in-person visits. The Scottish Government also facilitates regular forums focused on key issues local authorities face in developing their LHEES, for example engagement with utilities and data.

The Scottish Government is working to embed LHEES and area-based approaches across its heat decarbonisation programme. We are working with wider stakeholders to align current and future delivery and funding programmes with LHEES to support a strategic approach to the decarbonisation of heat reflecting local contexts and tailoring support to specific needs of communities.