Scotland proposes banning gas boilers after house sales

Heat in Buildings Standard would require boilers to be removed after fixed period

A mix of building types in Aberdeen

Homeowners and businesses in Scotland could have as little as two years to rip out their fossil fuel heating systems, the Scottish government has announced. 

A consultation on a proposed Heat in Buildings Standard, published on 28 November, outlines tough new targets for accelerating uptake of energy efficiency and low carbon heating measures. It confirms that the use of ‘polluting’ fossil fuel heating systems will be prohibited after 2045. 

To facilitate this ban, those buying a home or business premises will be required to end their use of polluting heating systems within a ‘fixed period’ following completion of the sale. The consultation proposes a ‘grace period’ of two to five years to get the work carried out.

The ban on fossil fuel heating will be backed up by the introduction of a new requirement on homeowners to make sure their homes meet a ‘reasonable’ minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) by 2033. Private landlords will be required to meet this by the earlier date of 2028 because such properties typically have a poorer standard of energy efficiency. 

Owner-occupiers who use electrified heating systems or a heat network by 2033 will not be required to meet the MEES. However, private landlords will have to meet the new standards even if they install clean heating systems.