Categorising emissions in non-domestic buildings

To meet Scotland’s net zero commitment by 2045, all of the country’s 230,000 non-domestic buildings must reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Non-domestic buildings comprise a wide range of building types such as business premises, factories, public buildings and facilities.

There are many challenges involved in decarbonising the sector, including limited information on how energy is used, and considerable variation in what fuels are used and how.

Any guidance, support or regulation should be sensitive to the variety of needs across non-domestic buildings.

The aim of this research was to identify and assess relevant options for a practical method to apportion measured direct emissions from heat use categories for the purposes of regulating direct emissions at a building level.

The research involved a literature review and stakeholder engagement.  

Summary of findings

The research found that a categorisation system based on fuel type would provide a practical and feasible foundation for developing and implementing decarbonisation regulations that are enforceable at an individual building level.

Systems of this type are already in use by regulatory authorities, voluntary reporting standards, and building and estate operators. However, it is unclear if a categorisation based on fuel type alone can provide sufficient information to identify decarbonisation pathways for individual buildings. This is because fuel type does not provide an indication of the type and energy intensity of activity.

For further information, please download the report.

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