Fewer than one in four people in Scotland say they have the right information to switch from traditional gas boilers systems to heat pumps.  

A new survey from the Construction Industry Collective Voice (CICV) has uncovered a significant knowledge gap among homeowners regarding renewable heating technologies. 

Switching to heat pumps is a key plank in the Scottish Government’s strategy to cut carbon emissions and reach net zero by 2045.  

In April this year new laws came into force requiring new build properties and those seeking a building warrant to install a heat pump instead of a fossil fuel boiler.  

But plans to decarbonise one million Scottish homes announced by then- Zero Carbon Buildings Minister Patrick Harvie by 2030 were pushed back at the end of last year. 

Instead, the new thinking is to have a starting date of 2028 at the earliest for buying homes or non-domestic properties to convert to zero-emissions heating within a grace period of between two and five years after purchase, with some exemptions. 

The Herald: Patrick HarviePatrick Harvie (Image: PA)

The plan is to have all homes converted to zero-emissions heating by 2045. Last month, the Scottish Government admitted it’s legally-binding target of cutting 75% of carbon emissions by 2030 would not be reached.  

Heating from homes is one of the major sources of greenhouse gases in Scotland, a problem which has proven difficult for ministers to crack  

Last year, just 6,000 heat pumps were fitted. The independent Climate Change Committee, who advise the Scottish Government, said that number will need to increase by a factor of 13 - to 80,000 annually - by the end of the decade if further emissions targets are to be reached.  

However, many households baulk at the cost of installing a heat pump, which can run to £15,000.  

The survey by CICV found that 24% of Scot were confident they had the right information to make the transition to heat pump or renewable technology to provide central heating.  

READ MORE: Swinney urged to overturn ban on wood burning stoves

READ MORE: The realities of having a heat pump installed at home

Alan Wilson, Chair of the CICV and Managing Director of SELECT, said the probe findings highlighted the need for enhanced education on renewable heating technologies.  

CICV is hosting its third Green Home Festival during the Edinburgh Fringe in a bid to address the current knowledge gap.   

Mr Wilson said: “These survey findings should be seen as a wake-up call, as they highlight the significant hurdles the UK faces in modernising its home heating systems. 

“Transitioning to renewable heating options involves substantial investment, even with the available grants and funding. Therefore, homeowners must be fully informed of not only the environmental benefits but also the practical advantages, such as cost-effectiveness and enhanced heating efficiency 

“Addressing this knowledge gap is precisely why the CICV created the Green Home Festival. We aim to equip homeowners with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their home heating needs and support the UK’s climate goals.” 

The Herald: 2023s Green Home Festival 2023s Green Home Festival (Image: NQ)

Running from 12-16 August the Green Home Festival will offer free advice on a wide range of topics, from introductory information on renewable heating to advanced energy-efficient solutions.  

This year’s topics include the process of building highly efficient homes tailored for newcomers and seasoned builders, on-site heat pump demonstrations, exploring electric heating and hydrogen for home heating and ways to installing heat pumps in pre-1919 homes. 

Co-organiser Gordon Nelson, Scotland Director of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “The Green Home Festival is our proactive response to the clear need for greater public understanding of renewable heating technologies. 

“We provide an accessible, expert-driven platform to dispel myths and offer practical, unbiased information that guides homeowners to transition to more sustainable heating solutions. 

“Through these diverse sessions, the Green Home Festival not only educates but also inspires homeowners to adopt energy-efficient practices. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate the shift towards a net-zero future by making sustainable living accessible to everyone.”