Heat, Housing and the Future of Net Zero Homes

The Scottish Governments Heat in Buildings Bill Consultation has set out ambitious statutory fuel poverty reduction targets, and measures to eliminate heating systems which burn fossil fuels. Accelerating progress towards a Net Zero housing network is crucial in keeping Scotland on track to meet its 2045 climate targets. But, will necessary progress be a source of further hindrance to those struggling to find or afford a home? A widely publicised housing crisis continues to exacerbate accommodation scarcity and heat insecurity, and urgent reform is required to cut the fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions currently being produced by homes. Holyrood’s 2023 Climate Action Summit exposed the challenges, including a green skills gap and a lack of public confidence in energy markets, that must be addressed. Holyrood’s new annual ‘Heat, Housing and the Future of Net Zero homes’ one day conference will explore what practical steps are necessary to deliver a greater supply of affordable housing, whilst adhering to the more stringent energy standards (such as the ban on direct emissions heating systems) coming into force in 2024. This event is being hosted in partnership with Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN) and the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI). Panel sessions include:

  • Scottish housing: from urgence to resurgence
  • What will ongoing energy reforms mean for Scotland’s housing sector?
  • Overcoming the barriers to achieving a green housing sector
  • Building Momentum for Net Zero Homes

Bringing together local authorities, housing associations and members of the Scottish Government, this event will set out key areas of focus and action needed to deliver a future of truly sustainable Net Zero homes.

This event is free-to-attend for those working in the public and third sectors. Limited spaces are available for private sector attendees. If you wish to be added to the waiting list, please email eventsadmin@holyrood.com and we will notify you if a place becomes available.

Emissions from homes and buildings currently account for about a fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions. Urgent transformation is required to cut emissions at pace, whilst ensuring an adequate supply of homes is available to address Scotland’s housing crisis. 


Whilst Scotland’s Heat in Buildings Strategy aims to improve energy performance, supplies of new homes continue to fall as house prices outpace average income growth.  


This panel will ask how we balance the need for energy secure homes with a housing market in crisis and ask what more needs to be done to lay the foundations for a sustainable housing network.

In June 2022, the Scottish Government announced that a review of EESSH2 social housing targets would be brought forward to the end of 2023. Privately rented properties will also be required to reach a minimum energy efficiency standard equivalent to EPC C, where technically feasible and cost-effective, by 2028. 

With time running out to achieve these ambitious climate targets this session will explore what proposed reform will mean for the Scotland’s housing sector.

Following the launch of the New Build Heat Standard (NBHS), direct emissions heating systems in new buildings will be banned from April 2024.  

Despite Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund pledging £200 million to improve energy efficiency, barriers such as skills gaps, retrofitting challenges, and a need for changes in household energy habits remain. 

Join housing and policy experts to discuss what action is needed to speed up housing’s transition by 2045.


The psychological impact of the current housing and climate crisis can make it hard to envisage a future for Net Zero homesHowever, forward-thinking solutions must be rolled out at pace to meet the Scottish Government’s target of delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032. 


In this final session, we will explore what a future Net Zero Housing network could look like, the challenges associated with retrofitting existing housing stock, and how energy upgrades and alternative construction models (such as prefab or modular homes) can help fast-track the Scottish Government’s delivery of its Net Zero objectives. 

Skills Planning Manager (Construction)
Communications and Public Affairs Lead
Communications and Public Affairs Manager
Head of Consultancy
Managing Director, Local Delivery Division
Policy Lead
Research, Policy & Education Director
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Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants' Rights
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Head of Heat Strategy and Consumer Policy Unit
Lecturer & Chancellor's Fellow in Net Zero Buildings
Head of Policy and Influencing
Policy and Practice Manager
Green Mortgage Lead
Jan Webb Headshot
Co-Director | Professorial Fellow in Social and Political Science

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