Scottish Government sets out energy-efficiency and low-carbon heat strategy

The Scottish Government has published a ‘Heat policy statement’ setting out its approach to decarbonising the heat system, along with a framework for investment in a low-carbon heat sector. The statement is another component in the Scottish Government’s comprehensive approach to energy in Scotland, alongside placing energy efficiency at the heart of the approach to be taken towards decarbonising the whole energy system.

Energy efficiency has been designated as a national infrastructure priority. The country’s energy-efficiency programme will provide an offer of support to all buildings in Scotland, domestic and non-domestic, to improve their energy-efficiency rating.

To aid the approach to district heating, there will be a support programme for local authorities to develop a strategic approach and support use of the Scotland heat map to do so.

The ambition is for 1.5 TWh of Scotland’s heat demand to be delivered by district or communal heating and to have 40 000 homes connected by 2020.

Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing says, ‘We have already made significant progress and will continue to work with energy experts, businesses and communities to move towards a largely decarbonised heat system by 2050.’

Julia Evans, chief executive of BSRIA, has welcomed the low-carbon heat plan. She said, ‘The Scottish Government has set out a target of 11% of heat generation coming from renewable sources by 2020. Currently the figure is only 3%. Clearly if the Scottish Government is going to hit its target, there needs to be a fundamental change in how heat is generated.

‘Heating is the largest contributor to energy bills, so having energy-efficient buildings and producing heat efficiently will, in addition to benefitting the environment, contribute to improving energy security and reduce fuel poverty — both of which can have real benefit to the Scottish economy.’

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