Scots face a bill of £16 billion to switch our nearly two million obsolete gas heating boilers to environmentally friendly heat pumps. according to a major new report.

The cost is just one of several consumers, businesses and the government will face as the country aims to reach zero-net carbon by 2045.

Work carried out for ScottishPower also suggests another £3.6 billion will have to be spent on installing two million electric car chargers, nearly 200,000 of them in public places, and another £5.2 billion bolstering the electricity network to meet new demands.

However, it also believes that 10,000 jobs could be supported by a giant decarbonisation drive as Scotland does its bit to tackle the climate emergency. Engineers will be needed to instal 150 electric vehicle charging points and 150 heat pumps every day for the next 25 years.

ScottishPower has launched a campaign called Zero Carbon Communities to spell out some of the realities on a local level, from city to city and town to town.

Keith Anderson, chief executive, ScottishPower, said: “We know electricity demand will more than double as we move away from the fossil fuels that power our cars and heat our homes today.

“We all need to do more to address climate change and this campaign sets out how we think government and the regulator can help communities drive their own transition to zero carbon.

“More power needs to be devolved locally so that communities have a stronger voice in plans to decarbonise their neighbourhoods.

“And investment needs to start now to meet the scale of the challenges we face.

“Crucially, to support the innovation and investment required to drive local priorities the government has to ensure all regulation has Net Zero as a guiding principle.

“We think this data should be a wake-up call for policy-makers.

“Zero Carbon targets may seem like a long way off, but if we’re to work with communities properly to ensure people aren’t left behind by the green transition, the reality is there’s no time to lose.”

Frank Mitchell, chief executive, SP Energy Networks, the company which runs the electricity network in central Scotland, said: “To reach Net Zero, every community will need to make changes.

“And each community will be unique in that journey.

“In that sense, one size does not fit all, and we understand the importance of being responsive to local communities.

“Our aim is simple.

“To help local communities understand that urgent action will have to be taken to manage the Net Zero transition successfully, by giving them a clear sense of the scale of the change, and an understanding of how every household will be affected.

“Working in partnership with local councils, businesses, and other stakeholders, Zero Carbon Communities aims to develop a roadmap for regions served by SP Energy Networks in order to help them plan and prepare.”

He added: “By investing in a planned and strategic way, we’re confident we can support communities on the journey to Net Zero with cost-effective solutions that work for them.”

Liverpool City Region – which has set a 2040 Net Zero target – is the first of the Zero Carbon Communities to launch, and provides a clear demonstration of the local approach needed to reach net zero.

Following on from the launch, the Zero Carbon Communities campaign will roll out to other areas across the territory that SP Energy Networks serves.

Typical communities have been selected within the SP Energy Networks territory and include Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire.

Scottish Power has three recommendations:

  • Devolve more power so that communities have a proper say in setting carbon priorities in their areas.

• Start making plans for investments now to meet the needs of communities in making the transition to Net Zero.

• Ensure that all regulation has the ambitions of meeting decarbonisation targets at its core. The company hired analysts at Capital Economics to crunch the numbers on heat pumps and EVs.