The Scottish Government has recently announced plans to impose new heating regulations which will help tackle the ‘climate emergency’.
In the new plans, newly constructed homes post 2024 will use either renewable or low-carbon heating systems following a recent investment of £30M into renewable heating projects by the Scottish Government.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse has stated that the change in heating regulations was part of Scotland’s plan to tackle climate change in a bid to reach ‘net zero emissions by 2045’. Reaching a ‘net’ zero involves greenhouse gases, such as CO2, being avoided entirely or offset in another way; such as planting trees.
In a bid to reach these targets, Scotland is trying to enforce new initiatives which can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and the new heating regulations should assist with this. Low-carbon heating generally refers to systems which use heat pumps or other alternatives to a gas boiler. There are many heating solutions which do not use gas; such as electric heating but they are not standard in new homes.
The new regulations will ensure they are standard in new homes. The plans also state that renewable and low-carbon systems will be phased in for new non-domestic buildings from 2024. In addition to the amendments in these new regulations, the Government is also looking to review they energy standards in building regulations. This is to improve the energy efficiency of buildings; mainly focusing on how they retain their heat as well as how they generate heat.
It has been announced that central heating systems in homes are threatening the UK’s clean air goals. Many don’t consider pollution coming from home heating to be a problem, but with a target to become carbon neutral by 2050 this needs to be considered. Scottish plans to ensure all new homes have renewable or low-carbon heating systems is a step in the right direction but it is important to consider the ways in which older homes can become more energy efficient also.
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