New support is available for communities and groups of householders across Scotland to develop their ideas about locally generated, low and zero carbon heat projects to tackle climate change.

The Community Heat Development Programme, funded by the Scottish Government, aims to learn how communities and groups of householders can work together to make buildings in their communities more environmentally friendly to heat.

Around one fifth of Scotland’s carbon emissions come from heating our homes and buildings. That’s why reducing emissions from heating our homes and buildings is one of the most important things we can do to help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change.

The Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy sets out how it plans to cut these emissions by more than two thirds by 2030. This includes switching more than 1 million homes currently using gas to convert to zero emissions heating, such as heat pumps. This is a huge transition and communities, with the support of the Scottish Government, will be at the heart of it.

The Community Heat Development Programme won’t pay to install energy efficiency measures or renewable technologies such as heat pumps. Instead, expert advisors will work with successful applicants to test their ideas and develop feasible options to change the way buildings are heated. Successful applicants will also receive advice on next steps, including any potential routes for further funding.

Zero Carbon Buildings Minister Patrick Harvie said:

“Reducing emissions from our homes and buildings is one of the most important things we can do to help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change.

“We have ambitious targets to transform how we heat our homes, and we know that different communities will need different forms of support in order to achieve them – we must ensure this transformation happens in a just and fair way, with people and communities at its heart.

“This new programme will help achieve this goal, by giving communities expert support and guidance to help them develop climate-friendly heating solutions that will best work for their needs and circumstances.”

Chris Morris, Local Energy Scotland Manager, said:

“Communities have a key role to play as we transition to net zero emissions. This new programme ensures that communities participate in the solutions and ensures that their ambitions and priorities are taken into account.

“An example of a heat project that could be supported is a group of neighbours in a block of flats installing a shared heating system, or perhaps a climate action group collectively buying heat pumps to make it cheaper and easier for people in its community to install, or maybe a community-led heat network for an off-gas village. We look forward to hearing what ideas communities come up with.”

Find out more about the Community Heat Development Programme.