The Scottish Government designated energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority in June 2015, covering energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation of both domestic and non-domestic buildings. District heating could make an important contribution to meeting Scotland’s future heat demand in areas where heat density is sufficiently high to develop networks that can provide heat at an affordable cost. Where allied to a low carbon heat source, it also offers the potential to meet our heat decarbonisation objectives.
To realise our ambition for a substantial increase in district heating in Scotland we want to ensure that Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) is planned and programmed to achieve its broad objectives to reduce energy demand and decarbonise heat supply in our buildings. This will involve a close relationship between the Scottish Government’s national objectives and local planning and delivery of programmes by local authorities and their partners. An agreed framework for regulation of district heating, and mechanisms to achieve coordination across the various stakeholders, will help to give certainty for the development of district heating networks.
Given that the majority of our heat infrastructure is delivered locally, this regulatory framework should include provisions to ensure that local strategies for heat and energy efficiency are developed to integrate programmes for heat supply decarbonisation with energy efficiency programmes. It is important that infrastructure does not become needlessly oversized in areas where energy efficiency measures will reduce the heat demand. This will ensure a coordinated approach to energy demand reduction and heat decarbonisation through SEEP.
Why We Are Consulting
This is a Scottish Government consultation on local heat and energy efficiency strategies, and regulation of district heating. We are seeking your views on the recommendations of the Expert Commission’s Special Working Group, plus wider evidence on whether a regulatory framework can be established in support of a vision in which heat network development can be coordinated, risks can be managed to reduce the cost of capital and heat users and other relevant parties are satisfied with the system.
This consultation is one of a number of consultations on the draft Climate Change Plan, the draft Energy Strategy and related activity published in January 2017 and your views are invited on the role that regulation could play in both:
supporting the development of district heating in Scotland, and
the planning at local level of heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency programmes within our new Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP), which is due to begin from 2018 onwards.
We are interested to understand how you think that regulation could ensure that SEEP improves and enhances our existing programme to make our homes and places of work a more comfortable temperature; promote more affordable energy for consumers; help to tackle fuel poverty; improve competitiveness of the Scottish economy; create substantial market and supply chain opportunities; and contribute to meeting our climate change targets through the deployment of low carbon heat supply.
This consultation will be considered alongside the parallel consultations on the Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy and Climate Change Plan, which set out the wider strategic vision for reduction of energy demand and the decarbonisation of heat, alongside specific consultation on scenarios for delivering SEEP. We are all consumers of energy and have a stake in determining the future energy system.