KJ Tait

Scotland’s New Build Heat Standard

10 June 2024

The New Build Heat Standard (NBHS) regulations are currently undergoing a review to address concerns raised on the use of wood burning stoves and the wider use of bioenergy systems, particularly in rural and island communities. 
The NBHS, as it stands, applies only to new buildings applying for a building warrant from 1 April 2024 and limited conversions. These buildings will not be allowed to use direct emission heating systems like oil and gas boilers Instead, they will need to use climate-friendly alternatives like heat pumps and heat networks. 
However, there have been concerns raised about the reliance on biomass and wood-burning stoves by rural and island communities.  In response, the regulations are being reviewed to consider the treatment of wood burning stoves and the wider use of bioenergy systems in more detail This review will be conducted in collaboration with concerned parties, including communities, businesses, and Local Authorities to ensure that any regulations review reflects the concerns raised. 
Until the review is completed, the NBHS remains in force However, emergency heating through a fixed installation can be considered if the size, complexity, or heat demand makes portable solutions not suitable. 
The NBHS is part of the wider Heat in Buildings Strategy, aimed at reducing carbon emissions from heating Scotland’s homes and buildings. It will help ensure that new buildings do not contribute to emissions, and people who buy new homes will know that they are future-proofed against the need to switch heating systems in the future. 
The development of the proposals for the NBHS involved consultations in 2021 and 2022, as well as a series of impact assessments. 
Overall, the review of the NBHS regulations demonstrates the commitment to addressing concerns and ensuring that the standard is effective and responsive to the needs of different communities.