Thousands of jobs promised as Scotland unveils heat in buildings strategy plans

Lennystan, Shutterstock

PLANS have been launched to ensure all buildings in Scotland are warmer, more efficient and reach zero emissions by 2045.

The Scottish Government’s heat in buildings strategy sets out its vision for transforming more than one million homes and an estimated 50,000 non-domestic buildings to be using low and zero emissions heating systems by 2030.

The blueprint outlines ‘crucial’ action needed from the UK Government to enable faster deployment of zero emissions heating in Scotland – including taking early decisions on the future of the gas network and increasing funding for UK-wide delivery schemes.

This would compliment the Scottish Government’s commitment of £1.6 billion in investment over the next five years to help transform the heating and energy efficiency of buildings in the country.

It said that this funding will ‘rapidly’ accelerate the installation of energy efficiency measures and zero emissions heating systems to decarbonise an area which currently is responsible for creating one fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions each year. The investment, outlined in the current programme for government, is anticipated to support up to 5,000 jobs each year by 2025-26, with further growth beyond that date.

Scotland’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said, “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions arising from heating our homes and buildings is one of the most important things we can do to help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change, given that heating accounts for more than half the energy we consume as a society. We are therefore committed to rapidly scaling-up action on decarbonising heating, but doing so in a way that ensures that our fuel poverty objectives and our commitment to tackling climate change work together, ensuring a fair and just transition to net zero emissions. This strategy must play a part in helping everyone to have a warm home that supports their good health and wellbeing.

“The draft strategy sets out our vision to achieving this and actions that we will take using the Scottish Parliament’s powers, while also demonstrating just how critical it is that the UK Government takes further action, and faster action, in areas of policy it controls if we are to achieve our respective net-zero ambitions. The changes needed to make our homes and buildings fit for a net-zero future, and to help avoid potentially serious damage to our climate for current and future generations of Scots, will touch on all our lives and are likely to require us all to take action. It is therefore only right that everyone in Scotland has an opportunity to feed in and shape our heat in buildings strategy and I would urge everyone to take part in our consultation.”