Buildings account for around a fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing these emissions is essential for Scotland to get to net zero. The Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy (HiBS) sets out how to achieve warmer, greener and more efficient heating across all domestic and non-domestic buildings in Scotland by 2045. Achieving this transformation requires making changes to a large number of properties.

This report investigates the experiences of early adopters of zero direct emissions heating (ZDEH) systems amongst private homeowners in Scotland in order to:

  • better understand, for example, their motivations, consumer journeys, barriers and enablers
  • develop a series of detailed case studies / pen portraits that depict a range of experiences of successful installation.

The report is based on a review of research on early adopters of ZDEH systems, qualitative interviews with households who had recently installed ZDEH systems and testing of a series of pen portraits resulting from the research.

Heat pump pen portraits

The findings have been used to inform the Scottish Government’s public engagement strategic framework for the heat transition.

Summary of findings

  • The main motivations for installing a heat pump and other energy efficiency measures were linked to environmental interests to decarbonise and to home renovations or broken heating systems.
  • Systematic changes to reduce current barriers are necessary to engage the general public in the next phase of heat pump adoption.

For further details on the findings and recommendations, please download the report.

If you require the report in an alternative format such as a Word document, please contact or 0131 651 4783.

Video summary of the findings