Experiences Of Early Adopters of Zero Emissions Heating

Changeworks conducted research to understand the experiences of early adopters of zero direct emissions heating systems (ZDEH) amongst private homeowners in Scotland.  

A ZDEH is a heating system which produces no greenhouse gas emissions (at the point of use) under normal operating conditions. Examples include Air Source Heat Pumps and Ground Source Heat Pumps.

This research investigates the experiences of early adopters of ZDEH systems amongst private homeowners in Scotland.

A summary of our findings and recommendations can be found below. More information and the full report can be accessed on the ClimatexChange website.


  • Motivations: the most common motives for early adopters were linked to environmental interests to decarbonise, home renovations and broken heating systems.
  • Barriers: the main barriers for early adopters were identifying information sources, complicated loan processes, finding a local installer and lack of installer handover. The latter being essential in ensuring householders feel confident in how to operate the system and how to use the system efficiently.


To build on the experience of early adopters and overcome barriers, the Scottish Government could:

  1. Support the development of a central source of information to cover the householder journey from pre-install (e.g. financing) to post-install (e.g. troubleshooting).
  2. Promote opportunities for households to adopt ZDEH during renovations and life stage changes.
  3. Simplify loan processes and provide householders with a geographic database of installers.
  4. Establish consistent standards and practices for post installation and handover.
  5. Work with early adopters to spread trusted information about ZDEH.

This research was commissioned by Climate X Change. The project was commissioned in November 2022, and concluded in April 2023.