New Build Heat Standard proposals open for consultation

The Scottish Government has published a consultation into proposed rules requiring zero emissions heating systems in all new build homes.

New Build Heat Standard proposals open for consultation

Housing minister Kevin Stewart

The New Build Heat Standard would mean all new build homes must have heating that produces zero direct greenhouse gas emissions, helping to meet climate change targets.

The measures aim to ensure that heating systems in all new buildings given consent from 2024 are zero-emissions, in line with the recommendation from the UK Committee on Climate Change that this is achieved from 2025 at the latest.

The consultation sets out a range of outcomes for the standard to achieve, including ensuring new homes and non-residential buildings are affordable to heat, supporting the delivery of a continued supply of high quality homes, and offer opportunities for retraining and upskilling workers to install zero emissions heating systems.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “The pace of decarbonising Scotland’s domestic and non-domestic buildings has to increase significantly to achieve our targets on climate change. The New Build Heat Standard will be an important contribution to this to ensure emissions from heating and cooling our buildings fall close to zero.

“We want to combine the action we need to meet the challenge of the climate emergency with our ambition to provide affordable, warm homes. We are seeking views from stakeholders on the most effective way to introduce this Standard to ensure it is deliverable and fit for purpose.”

To support the development of the New Build Heat Standard, an external working group was established to provide advice and expertise to the Scottish Government – and this was instrumental during the drafting of the scoping consultation. The group, which features representation across a wide variety of interests and areas, is co-chaired by respected zero carbon buildings expert, Professor Lynne Sullivan OBE.

Professor Sullivan, chair of the Good Homes Alliance, said: “We recognised the priority for new buildings to achieve higher efficiency and be ready for zero emissions heating sources, in line with Scotland’s world-leading climate commitments.

“We welcome the consultation on new homes, and believe the targets are achievable with existing technologies at scale. Delivery will unlock long-term economic benefits as well as future-proof Scottish homes.”

The Scottish Greens said Scotland must show more urgency to catch up with many European countries when it comes to warm and efficient housing.

Housing spokesperson Andy Wightman said: “The housing minister is right to say that the pace of decarbonising homes needs to increase, but the fact is that Scotland lags well behind many normal European nations on this. New homes should be required to meet passivhaus or other net-zero standards, and public funding should no longer be used to subsidise high-carbon heating systems.

“Meanwhile, if we recognise the pace of change needed we have to also recognise that a quarter of homes in Scotland face fuel poverty every year. We need a target on all homes with a programme of deep-retrofits of fuel poor households and social housing, which would create thousands of jobs in the process.”

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