A consultation has been launched into Scottish Government proposals to revolutionise heating in homes and buildings in order to meet environmental targets.
Announced as part of the Programme for Government in September and supported by £1.6 billion of investment from ministers, the strategy seeks to show how more than one million homes and 50,000 non-residential properties can be transitioned to low-carbon heating systems by 2030, as well as improve insulation and efficiency in other buildings.
According to the strategy, the investment needed is expected to exceed £33 billion, a figure which “cannot be borne by the public sector alone”, as the Scottish Government seeks to boost private sector investment in the project.
The consultation opened on Friday and will close on April 30.
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 strategy also outlines changes needed at a UK level, including early decisions about the future of the gas network.
Mr Wheelhouse said: “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.”
Scottish Greens energy, environment and climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “The Scottish Government cannot afford to keep missing targets for renewable heat in the middle of a climate emergency.
“The strategy must deliver a huge step change in building efficiency and green heat, tackling fuel poverty and creating new jobs.”