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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-04058

  • Asked by: Stephen Kerr, MSP for Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 1 November 2021
  • Current status: Answered by Patrick Harvie on 15 November 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to increase the percentage of non-electrical heat demand that is met by renewable technologies.


The Heat in Buildings Strategy (7 October) sets out an ambitious policy package to deliver the transition to zero emissions heating, including at least £1.8 billion investment over the course of this parliament to kick-start market growth and support those least able to pay. This includes a minimum of £465 million to support those least able to pay, £200 million to support energy efficiency and zero emissions heat in the public estate, £200 million Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund, and £400 million for large scale heat decarbonisation projects. This year we have increased the budget for our Home Energy Scotland Loan and Cashback Scheme to £21 million. We have also increased the budget for local authority energy efficiency and green heating schemes to £64 million, and for our Warmer Homes Scotland programme targeted at those in fuel poverty to £50 million.

Over the longer term, the Strategy sets out the steps we are taking to develop a market framework that will create demand for zero emissions heating, help consumers overcome investment costs, and help secure private investment. We are committed to phasing out the need for new fossil fuel boilers in off-gas areas from 2025 and on-gas from 2030. We will bring forward legislation during this Parliamentary term which, subject to devolved competence, will include regulatory proposals to require the installation of zero or very near zero emissions heating systems in existing buildings – in both the domestic and non-domestic sectors.

The Strategy identifies energy efficiency, heat pumps and heat networks as near-term strategic priorities. Efficient heat pumps supply renewable energy and heat networks can supply heat from a range of sources. The Scottish Government supports the use of renewable heat in heat networks through a number of mechanisms, including enhanced non-domestic rates relief for networks run from renewable sources. The longer term balance between renewable and other sources of zero emissions heat will be determined by a wider whole systems approach and will be reviewed as part of the Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan in 2022.