2035 target for the amount of heat to be supplied by heat networks

Page 1 of 5

Closes 11 Mar 2023


In summary, we propose:

To set the following target, where the combined supply of thermal energy supplied by heat networks in Scotland reaches at least 7 TWh of output by 2035.

Table 2: Summary of Options 1-3 for target(s)

Option for potential 2035 target

(and FNA dataset)

Heat supplied (TWh)

Comparator: current non-electrical heat consumption A

Option 1 (FNA Medium Potential)



Option 2 (FNA Medium Potential)



Option 3 (FNA Higher Potential)


16 %

Table notes:

A BEIS: Sub-national total final energy consumption data

We will review the 2035 heat network target and, if appropriate, other heat network targets once more evidence is available, such as LHEES (Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies) and heat network zones designated by local authorities.

Further information can be found in our consultation paper, including:

  • Legislative background and policy context
  • Options developed and supporting research

Proposed targets

Option 2 is our preferred approach as it is the most feasible, yet ambitious, scenario and outlook for the 2035 target.

We, therefore, propose to set the following target:

the combined supply of thermal energy by heat networks in Scotland reaches at least 7 TWh of output by 2035.

Table 3 below shows the modelled number of domestic and non-domestic connections for the four scenarios to meet at least 7 TWh. 

Table 3: Heat Network Deployment Scenarios (Option 2) highlighting a range of connections dependent on proportion of non-domestic buildings connecting.


Heat Demand (TWh/year)

Non-domestic connections

Domestic connections

A: High domestic




B: Limited anchors




C: Low domestic




D: Extreme domestic

3.2 (7)



Table notes:

1. Number of connections rounded to nearest hundred.

2. Scenario D fails to achieve required demand. Figure in brackets for Scenario D is the proposed target.

The sensitivity test using Non-Domestic Analytics data and Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCVs) - which doesn’t take anchor loads into account – suggested that around 112,200 non-domestic and 135,000 domestic properties would need to connect to achieve the proposed target of at least 7 TWh.

Additionally, further analysis of the FNA data based on Option 3 was carried out to establish a figure should there be a higher percentage of domestic connections than 50% - used to develop the potential target figure options. Adjusting the number of domestic connections needed increases the heat network output by only a fraction of a percentage using the same dataset. Given that the FNA data is essentially modelled data and sensitivity testing has shown a wide variance in the number of properties that would need to connect to meet this TWh figure, we are proposing that the target is set at, at least 7 TWh.

1. What is your opinion of the proposal to set the 2035 target for the combined supply of thermal energy supplied from heat networks to “at least 7 TWh” of output?
2. Are there particular considerations in setting this target that may help to reduce the depth and/or rate of fuel poverty?
3. Are there any other issues that you would like to highlight in relation to the 2035 heat network target?