Heat in Buildings Bill: A guide for householders

What does the Heat in Buildings Bill mean for me? A guide for homeowners, landlords and private renters 

In March, the Scottish Government closed the consultation on its Heat in Buildings Bill. The Bill sets out laws for how homeowners heat Scotland’s buildings, as well as how energy efficient the buildings need to be to meet net zero targets. These proposals include timescales.

You can read Changeworks’ response to the Bill here.   

On this page we’ll take a look at the Bill’s current proposals. It’s important to remember that these are only proposals. They could change before the Bill becomes law.  

A guide for homeowners 

To meet the Heat in Buildings Standard, homeowners will be required to replace existing polluting heating systems (such as gas and oil boilers) with ‘clean’ heating systems before 2045. Examples of clean heating systems are:  

Homeowners that have not yet installed a clean heating system will also be required to meet a ‘minimum’ energy efficiency standard by 2033. The Scottish Government has proposed that the ‘minimum’ energy efficiency standard can be met by installing a straightforward list of measures. 

Property owners that install these measures – or as many of them as are feasible for the type of home they live in – would be considered to have reached a good level of energy efficiency and to have met the new standard. 

Examples of measures the Scottish Government has proposed that householders may be required to install, where feasible, to meet the standard are: 

The above list of measures is an example option for setting the new energy efficiency standard, and the Heat in Buildings consultation welcomed suggestions of other options. 

Read our response to the Heat in Buildings Bill consultation.

I’m a landlord – what does the Heat in Buildings Bill mean for me?

To meet the Heat in Buildings Standard, private landlords will be required to replace existing polluting heating systems (such as gas and oil boilers) with clean heating systems before 2045. 

All landlords will also be required to meet a ‘minimum’ energy efficiency standard by 2028, regardless of the heating system in the property. This has been proposed to ensure that properties adequately retain heat as private rented sector tenants are at greater risk of fuel poverty than homeowners. 

The consultation proposes that properties in the private rented sector which don’t meet the energy efficiency standard by the end of 2028 will not be allowed to be leased to a new tenant if the existing tenant moves out. Landlords will not be permitted to evict tenants to carry out the work, and tenants will still be able to end their tenancy with 28 days notice as per usual if they choose to do so.

To find out more about your rights as a private renter, click here 

What happens when I buy or sell a property? 

The consultation proposes that homeowners will not need to meet the Heat in Buildings Standard to sell their property. However, it may make sense to do so as this may increase property value at the point of sale. Properties that haven’t met the standard by the deadlines will be permitted to be sold. However, the Scottish Government expects that this will be reflected in the asking price. 

The Bill proposes that the purchase of a property will be a ‘trigger point’ for installing a clean heating system. This applies regardless of how the buyer intends to use the property. A ‘grace period’ of 2 – 5 years will allow buyers time to install a new, clean heating system. However, first-time buyers and properties that sit within an identified heat network zone may be exempt from this requirement if the homeowner plans to connect the property to the heat network. 

Regardless of what the Bill looks like when it becomes law, homeowners and landlords will be able to access support and advice by getting in touch with Home Energy ScotlandHome Energy Scotland provide a number of grant and loan options to householders to help improve the energy efficiency of their home. From insulation to air source heat pumps, householders could be eligible for a grant worth up to £9,000 depending on where you live in Scotland. Click here to find out more. 

Get in touch

Contact us today to find out how Changeworks can help you.