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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-04031

  • Asked by: Alex Cole-Hamilton, MSP for Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Date lodged: 28 October 2021
  • Current status: Answered by Patrick Harvie on 11 November 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to ensure that older buildings, which may be subject to stricter planning regulations, can become energy neutral, and what support it can offer to the owners of these buildings to help make their properties energy neutral.


Scottish Government is committed to decarbonising all of Scotland's building stock, including transitioning Scotland’s many valuable heritage assets to low and zero emissions heating in a way that respects and protects the special characteristics of these buildings and places. Our Heat in Buildings Strategy recognises that for traditional and heritage buildings, bespoke approaches, including skilled design and construction, may be required. We are working with stakeholders, including Historic Environment Scotland, to develop more solutions to transition Scotland’s historic buildings to zero emissions heating while respecting and preserving the special characteristics of our buildings and places, and where needed continue to build our evidence base and the guidance available for the heat transition in these buildings and areas, including in our approach to regulation.

To ensure property owners have access to suitably qualified installers, we have developed, with industry, installer skill requirements for our Heat in Buildings Strategy which includes skill requirements for any work carried out on pre-1919 buildings where installers will be required to have a 'SQA Level 3 award in Energy Efficiency Measures for Older and Traditional Buildings'.

A range of guidance is available from Historic Environment Scotland to help with potential options for the installation of micro-renewables technologies, energy efficiency measures and climate change adaptations in listed buildings, traditional homes and buildings in conservation areas. This support can be accessed through the Historic Environment Scotland website at: . Of particular interest may be:

Owning a Traditional Property:

Making changes to your Property:

Saving Energy in Traditional Buildings:

Domestic loans and grants are available through the Home Energy Scotland service which acts as the gateway to all Scottish Government-funded domestic energy efficiency schemes. Home Energy Scotland advisors can offer free and impartial energy efficiency advice, and advice on how to keep homes warmer and more affordable to heat, and are contactable Freephone on 0808 808 2282. Their website containing details of all Scottish Government energy efficiency schemes available for home owners can be found at: .

Additionally, property owners may be eligible for support through heritage-related grant schemes or relevant funds which can be found : .