New build heat standard consultation: part II

Closed 20 Oct 2022

Opened 28 Jul 2022

Feedback updated 6 Sep 2023

We asked

We sought views on the further development of the New Build Heat Standard, following an initial scoping consultation in 2020-2021. The purpose of the consultation was to seek views on a number of key areas relating to the introduction of the New Build Heat Standard in 2024. Questions related to the overall approach to regulation, use of specific technologies, conversions, equality and non-domestic concerns.

The focus on new buildings - and conversions (in certain circumstances) - is a significant step forward in meeting our future climate change targets and a crucial milestone in our broader Heat in Buildings Strategy.

As part of the consultation process we held three, two-hour long, online workshops. These provided an opportunity for stakeholders to engage directly with us and focused on the themes of equality and consumers, island communities, and the treatment of non-domestic buildings.

You said

We received 112 responses to the consultation, 91 from businesses and other organisations and 21 from individuals.

We have published the responses received on our consultation platform where the respondent has given permission for us to do so. 

The majority (62%) of respondents supported proposals introducing the New Build Heat Standard. The responses received to the consultation were, generally, supportive of both our intentions to introduce regulations around zero direct emissions heating. However, respondents did note there may be unintended consequences relating to the prohibition of bioenergy, non-domestic buildings with complex heat needs, and the provision of emergency back-up supplies.

We did

The Lines Between were commissioned to undertake an independent analysis of responses. The report presents the findings from the public consultation and explains the methodology that was used to analyse responses.

The responses, together with the analysis report, helped to inform and shape the regulations laid in the Scottish Parliament on the week commencing 5 June 2023, prior to taking effect from 1 April 2024.

In summary, we propose that:

  • The NBHS will apply to all new buildings – both domestic and non-domestic - constructed under a building warrant which is applied for on or after 1 April 2024.
  • The NBHS will prohibit the use of heating and cooling systems, located within the curtilage of any new building, which produce more than a negligible level of greenhouse gas emissions at the point of combustion. This will help to ensure that new and developing technologies, which may produce insignificant or trace direct greenhouse gas emissions, are not inadvertently prohibited.
  • The NBHS will apply to the conversion of existing buildings where a) the conversion involves a change in occupation or use of the part of the building in which an existing direct emission heating system is located and b) it is reasonably practicable to do so. Further guidance will be provided on what the latter means in practice.
  • The NBHS will not apply to any emergency back-up heating system, which has been installed solely for use in the event of the failure of the heating or hot water service system which is designed and installed for use during the normal operation of the building.
  • The NBHS only extends to the provision of space heating, cooling and hot water. Any other ‘processes’ which use or generate heat or hot water for any other purpose are not within the scope of these regulations.

The standard will be introduced through building regulations and we intend to update the building standards Technical Handbooks later in 2023. A link to these Handbooks will be provided once published.

Results updated 9 Jun 2023

All responses were considered in the independent analysis of the consultation, and taken into account during the regulation development process.

Published along with the final analysis report are the related suite of impact assessments.


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


We are developing regulations which will, from 1 April 2024, prohibit the use of direct emissions heating systems in new buildings: both domestic and non-domestic.

We are now in a position to provide further details on our intention to regulate heating systems in new buildings, and we are seeking stakeholder views on a number of key issues relating to these proposals.

Why your views matter

This consultation has been developed using feedback received from responses to the initial Scoping Consultation in 2020-21, alongside findings from a number of independent research projects commissioned to support the development of the New Build Heat Standard.

The introduction of the New Build Heat Standard will signal a significant shift away from what has long been considered ‘business as usual’, with an increased deployment in systems which are considered to be ‘zero direct emissions heating’ technologies: paving the way for the introduction of similar requirements in existing buildings from 2025 onwards. As a result, the Scottish Government is using this opportunity to formally seek views from all stakeholders on a number of key issues to ensure that regulations, to come into force from 1 April 2024, are effective and deliver the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions needed.

Read the consultation paper

What happens next

All responses will be reviewed, and will be used to inform the development of the New Build Heat Standard to come into force from 1 April 2024.


  • Energy
  • Main hub