Scotland’s Heat in Buildings Strategy sets out a pathway to zero emissions buildings by 2045 and details actions that will accelerate the transformation of the nation’s building stock. The Strategy commits to the conversion of the equivalent of 50,000 non-domestic buildings to zero emissions heat by 2030.

There are approximately 220,000 non-domestic buildings in Scotland and they are hugely diverse. An understanding of the merits and limitations of existing building stock data is integral to developing policy that supports the Heat in Buildings Strategy commitment.

Main findings
  • Energy efficiency upgrade information is not currently well-reported in the non-domestic sector. Energy Action Plans could be used as a basis for an annual reporting mechanism to make this more transparent.
  • Display Energy Certificates are informative and standardised forms of energy and building data. Scottish Government could consider adopting these for all non-domestic buildings in order to monitor progress towards 2030 targets.
  • The Non-Domestic Analytics dataset could be updated more frequently to mitigate for the low number of non-domestic buildings with Energy Performance Certificates.
  • Bulk Energy Performance Certificate data could include information on the buildings’ age band, constructions, and built form to add value to, for example, developing Scottish thermal stock models.
  • Improved quality controls on Energy Performance Certificate input data could improve the cross-referencing with other datasets.
  • Linking Energy Performance Certificate and other databases with interactive maps, such as those provided by local authorities, could aid policy observation and target monitoring.
  • The Scottish Government could consider undertaking a regular non-domestic building stock survey, analogous to the Scottish House Condition Survey and informed by other activities in the rest of UK and, in particular, the US.
  • The successful use of other surveying techniques and data collection, such as self-reporting and use of tax record information, could form the basis of a wider surveying approach to non-domestic buildings.
  • The report has suggested a framework for tracking and mapping datasets and policy areas. This could be maintained to understand the value and impact of current and future data strategies.
  • Key parameters from Building Warrant applications could be registered and shared in a nationwide database to assist with the development of policy.