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Last edited 25 Feb 2021
Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill
On 23 February 2021, the Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament. This legislation was designed to help cut emissions, reduce fuel poverty and create green jobs by accelerating the deployment of heat networks.
Scotland is the first country in the UK to legislate to support the growth of heat networks, through which clusters of homes and businesses get heating from a central source rather than individual boilers - ideally making it safer and more efficient for customers.
The Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill creates a licencing system to drive up standards across the sector and encourage consumer confidence. It also establishes rights for heat network developers and operators to compete with other utilities in order to make investment in the sector more attractive and encourage further growth.
It is estimated that heat networks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 90,000 cars by 2050 and generate annual fuel savings of around £130 for every household that connects to a heat network.
 What are heat networks?
Heat networks are often:
- More efficient than more conventional heating systems.
- Run from renewables, recovered waste or surplus heat sources.
- Allow the heat source to be changed without disrupting the user’s supply.
 Government statements
Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said, “Heat networks have huge potential to reduce emissions in our homes and buildings by providing more efficient, environmentally friendly solutions. The Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill unlocks this potential and marks the beginning of what will be a period of transformational change in how we heat our homes and business premises.
“Heat networks fit the profile of the sort of project that can make a significant, near-term contribution to our green [post-pandemic] recovery while providing long-term employment in local communities. The development of this sector will, crucially, provide ongoing support to achieve our target to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
“Scotland has the most ambitious legislative framework for emissions reduction in the World, which is why we have also, through this Bill, set stretching targets for the expansion of heat networks to ensure that we build early momentum and give as much clarity to potential suppliers as we can.”
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Community energy network.
- Community heating.
- District energy networks.
- Heat Networks Investment Project HNIP.
- Heat sharing network.
- Scotland publishes plans to reach net zero targets with Heat in Buildings Strategy.
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