We can’t afford to postpone the Heat in Buildings Bill

Following the Programme for Government being published last week, Changeworks is disappointed to not see the Heat in Buildings Bill on the legislative programme for the next parliament. This means a further delay we can ill afford two years on from the Heat in Buildings Strategy.

The Scottish Government will consult on draft proposals for a Heat in Buildings Bill to accelerate the transition to zero carbon homes as a significant part of a new draft Climate Change Plan.

This draft Climate Change Plan will set out how to drive down emissions with action across transport, heat, and other areas, while maximising opportunities for the economy, job creation, health and the natural environment.

While we welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to consult on new heating and energy efficiency regulations in a Heat in Buildings Bill in the next parliamentary session and the draft Climate Change Plan, it is imperative that the Bill itself is scheduled as soon as possible.

“We cannot afford further delay in putting legislation in place to meet our ambitious net zero targets.”

The Heat in Buildings Bill is urgently needed to provide clear legislation to support the decarbonisation of buildings – both domestic and non-domestic.

According to the Heat in Buildings Strategy published in 2021, the aim of the Heat in Buildings Bill is to provide “the regulatory framework for zero emissions heating and energy efficiency, and underpinning powers to support this transition and the wider Heat in Buildings programme”.

Changeworks, as a member of the Existing Homes Alliance, supports the coalition’s statement that this is a missed opportunity.

Alliance Director, Elizabeth Leighton said “Upgrading the energy efficiency of our homes and switching to clean, zero emissions heating is absolutely essential if we are to end fuel poverty and meet our climate change targets.

“It’s disappointing that the Heat in Buildings Bill is not in the legislative programme for this year. The Scottish Government must now make every effort to introduce this Bill during this session.”

Josiah Lockhart, Changeworks’ Chief Executive said “The Programme for Government has committed to a number of consultations and strategies, however there is little tangible action in the next parliament for speeding up the decarbonisation of homes.

“With the accelerating climate emergency and more people than ever in fuel poverty in Scotland, we cannot afford further delay in putting legislation in place to meet our ambitious net zero targets.”

Decarbonising Scotland’s homes and buildings is key to meet the target for net zero by 2045, as they account for 13% of Scotland’s total greenhouse gas emissions and around 30% of Scotland’s total energy consumption. Changeworks’ aim is to drive the decarbonisation of homes in Scotland to maximise its impact in tackling the climate emergency.

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