For most of us in Scotland, our homes are heated by fossil fuels that add to climate change. Reducing these emissions is one of the most important things we can do to help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change and reach our net zero target. Net zero is when the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere and the amount we’re able to take out will add up to zero.
At the moment in Scotland, around 23% of greenhouse gas emissions come from our homes and workplaces. Burning oil or gas to heat the water in radiators creates carbon dioxide emissions which leave the boiler via a flue. As well as this, many homes and buildings in Scotland are older, less well insulated and don’t keep the heat in as well as newer buildings. This makes them harder and more expensive to heat, which increases the total amount of emissions from heating our homes and workplaces. So, the energy we use in our homes and buildings is an area where we can make significant changes and improvements to eventually get rid of emissions altogether.
And we’re already making progress. The energy efficiency of our homes is improving and in 2019, 45% of Scotland’s homes had an EPC rating of C or better. EPC stands for ‘Energy Performance Certificate’ and is an assessment of how energy efficient a property is. A is the best rating and G is the worst. To assist us on the path to net zero, we're helping Scottish householders improve their homes to reach an energy efficiency rating of at least EPC C. There are a range of schemes in place to improve household energy efficiency.
Meeting our net zero target means reducing, and ultimately removing, emissions from heating our homes by switching to zero emissions heating and upgrading them to make them more energy efficient, comfortable and affordable to heat. It will be a transformational change that will benefit our wellbeing and the wider environment. Scotland is well used to taking world-leading action, so we’re confident that together as a nation, we can achieve this.
of Scotland’s home had an EPC rating of C or better
Not only is a warm and comfortable home is good for our health and wellbeing, it’s good for the environment too.
Often the cost of making energy efficient home improvements can put people off taking action.
To reach net zero by 2045 we need to move from high emissions heating systems that use fossil fuels, such as gas central heating, to low and zero emissions systems such as heat pumps.
There are ways your community can come together to save energy too.
The Scottish Government’s vision is that by 2045 our homes and buildings will be warmer, greener and more efficient. To achieve this and reach our target of net zero by 2045 we need to change the way we heat our homes and buildings so that we stop emissions escaping into the atmosphere. This isn’t going to be easy and will need action from all of us, from government to businesses to individuals.
Our draft Heat in Buildings Strategy outlines the steps for transforming our homes and buildings and the systems that heat them, so that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach net zero by 2045.
No household should be forced to make the choice between having the heating on or cooking their dinner. So it’s vital that we cut emissions from Scotland’s homes in a way that helps end fuel poverty for those households that struggle to heat their home. Scotland is one of the few countries to define fuel poverty, let alone set a challenging goal to reduce it. Our draft Fuel Poverty Strategy sets out how we intend to drive progress to meet our ambitious targets that by 2040 no more than 5% of households in Scotland are fuel poor and no more than 1% are in extreme fuel poverty.
That’s why we’re making a landmark investment of £1.6 billion in zero emissions heating for homes and workplaces and are supporting those who are least able to pay as a priority.
We also fund local councils to deliver energy efficiency improvements in areas with high levels of fuel poverty and the least energy efficient housing. Since 2013, we’ve made available £473 million to local authorities which has helped deliver energy efficient improvements to around 87,000 households across Scotland. Our national Warmer Homes Scotland scheme was launched in September 2015 and since then has helped over 20,000 fuel poor households across Scotland with the installation of heating and insulation measures.
By taking action and investing in energy efficient and zero emissions heating measures, together we’ll reach our target of net zero by 2045.
Take Action Starting Now
To achieve net zero by 2045, we must take action now. Start here to find ways that you can make changes in your life at home and on the go.