Scotland to ban fossil fuel powered boilers in new homes from 2024

The Scottish government has announced it plans to ban the installation of fossil fuel powered boilers in all new homes in Scotland from 2024.

In a consultation published late last week, the Scottish government unveiled a package of proposals to ensure all new buildings are to be fitted with climate-friendly alternatives to fossil fuel heating systems.

Dubbed The New Building Heat Standard (Part II), the consultation sets out plans which would mean that direct emissions heating systems (DEH), such as those which run on fossil fuels, would no longer be installed in any homes or non-domestic buildings from April 2024.

Instead, properties would have to be heated with low carbon alternatives, such as heat pumps, solar, and electric boiler systems.

“Scotland’s homes and buildings account for approximately a fifth of all our emissions, and we know that we need to take bold, ambitious steps to ensure we meet our climate obligations,” said Zero Carbon Buildings Minister, Patrick Harvie.

“New buildings will lead the way in cutting emissions, and earlier this year we published new energy standards that will cut emissions of all new-build homes by nearly a third.

“The proposed regulations are another major change to achieve our climate targets and make our homes and buildings warmer, greener and cheaper to run.”

If adopted the timetable for ending the installation of gas boilers in new Scottish homes would mark an acceleration on similar plans adopted by the Westminster government, which would effectively ban gas boilers for new build homes from 2025.

The UK government had considered an earlier deadline of 2023 for requiring house builders to end the installation of gas boilers, with green groups arguing that people buying new homes were being landed with properties where they would then have to bear the cost of switching to heat pumps or other low carbon alternatives at a later date. But Ministers opted for a later date of 2025 following pressure from some house builders, which argued the supply chain and skills base for heat pump technologies was not yet sufficiently established to meet demand from the new build market.

However, Scottish ministers have clearly decided that soaring demand for heat pumps and the urgent need to curb energy bills, carbon emissions, and gas imports justifies an earlier date for ending the installation of polluting boilers.

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