Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES)

The Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy (2021) sets out its aims and objectives for achieving net zero emissions within the entire building stock in Scotland by 2045, including addressing poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty. As part of this Strategy, Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES) will set out the long-term plan for decarbonising heat in buildings and improving energy efficiency across an entire local authority area.

In 2022, a statutory order was passed by the Scottish Parliament that requires all local authorities to prepare a LHEES (Strategy & Delivery Plan) by the end of next year (2023).

Over the previous 5 years the Scottish Government has developed LHEES proposals and associated guidance & methodology to support the roll out of LHEES locally, through a series of pilot programmes and ongoing engagement with local authorities. PKC has contributed a significant amount of officer time to help shape the development of LHEES policy to date including undertaking a number of pilot projects and providing a leading local authority perspective on emerging proposals.

LHEES is driven by Scotland’s statutory targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and fuel poverty:

- Net zero emissions by 2045 and 75% reduction by 2030.

- In 2040, as far as reasonably possible, no household in Scotland is in fuel poverty.

LHEES will set out the long-term plan for decarbonising heat in buildings and improving their energy efficiency across an entire local authority area, with a key objective to also eliminate poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty. For each local authority area, the Strategies will draw on a standardised methodology to:

  • set out how each section of the building stock needs to change to meet national objectives, including achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector, and the removal of poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty;
  • identify strategic heat decarbonisation zones, and set out the principal measures for reducing buildings emissions within each zone; and
  • prioritise areas for delivery, against national and local priorities.

Accompanying the Strategies will be LHEES Delivery Plans, which will be developed in partnership with key stakeholders, and provide a strong basis for action for local communities, government, investors, developers and wider stakeholders, pinpointing areas for targeted intervention and early, low-regrets measures.

As noted above, a statutory order was passed by the Scottish Parliament that requires all local authorities to prepare a LHEES (Strategy & Delivery Plan) by 31 December 2023. PKC commissioned consultants Arup to provide technical consultancy services to support in the preparation of the first iteration of LHEES Strategy & Delivery Plans and wider Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP). The Draft PKC LHEES Strategy was submitted for review by Scottish Government in December 2023. The final LHEES Strategy and Delivery will be formally published Spring 2024.

This work is supported by a number of project partners including SSEN, Energy Savings Trust and Advanced Infrastructure. A LAEP was prepared alongside the LHEES to enable a ‘whole energy systems approach’. Whilst LHEES focuses on the heating and energy efficiency of buildings, the LAEP considers wider energy issues. The LAEP will support collaboration with network operators, and other key stakeholders, to inform the development of targets as well as deliverable actions within a net zero energy system, at a substation area and Council wide scale, through to 2045. The LAEP is now published - more information can be found in the section below.

Alongside this, the Council is working to prepare a Council Estate Decarbonisation Plan for its own building stock. The Council is also developing a toolkit that will assess LHEES and LAEP delivery actions and areas to develop a pipeline of investable energy projects to inform Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES). These aligned programmes of work will support the delivery of our LHEES and LAEP.
Overview of LHEES and LAEP

The LHEES and LAEP involved extensive engagement across a range of key stakeholders, with a period of public consultation. This feedback was key to shaping our Strategic priorities and associated Delivery Plan Priorities and will be incorporated in the published version of our LHEES in Spring 2024.

The Scottish Government recognises that LHEES will evolve with the introduction of future standards and regulation, as well as new delivery and funding programmes. The first iteration of LHEES will reflect this and largely be focussed on delivery within the scope of the current and near future funding, regulatory and policy landscape, for example. supporting the delivery of existing funding (e.g. HEEPS ABS, ECO4); while providing a pathway to meeting medium to long term targets and objectives set out nationally, and locally where relevant.

The Council are also working alongside SSEN and other partners in the Regional Energy System Optimisation Planning (RESOP) project which will utilise the outputs of our LHEES, LAEP and our live Delivery Plans to plan decarbonisation pathways by enabling low carbon technologies (LCTs) such as heat pumps to be sited in cost-effective locations whilst providing early warning to SSEN of additional demand on the network.

The Perth and Kinross LAEP (2024 - 2045) outlines a vision for a net-zero carbon energy system and recommendations for achieving our 2045 net zero targets. The vision for our future energy system is:

Perth and Kinross will become a model for affordable, equitable access to sustainable energy for all residents, businesses and organisations through an integrated, net-zero local energy system.

The LAEP provides an understanding of the nature, scale, rate, and timings of changes needed for the transition to a net zero energy system, taking a whole energy systems approach and considering the complex interdependencies of different energy vectors from generation through to demand.

This plan has been developed through active involvement with various stakeholders in the local energy system. These include Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), regional transport authorities, housing providers, public services, local energy charities, and neighboring local authorities. Engaging with stakeholders is crucial to secure support from diverse perspectives and foster collaboration as we progress towards a more localised and interconnected energy system to achieve our net zero targets.

Pathways to Net Zero Carbon

The Local Area Energy Report outlines four distinct pathways to net zero, only one of the pathways, high ambition, will reach net zero carbon emissions by 2045 illustrating the scale of the challenge ahead.

LAEP Net Zero Pathways
Overview of deployment pathways

LAEP Priority Intervention Areas

The LAEP identifies priority intervention areas to achieve the objectives of the proposed future energy system and recommended pathway. Achieving the LAEP's objectives will require appropriate governance, engagement, policies, and financing solutions. The scale of changes modelled will involve interventions across heating, transport, electricity, and overall energy use. A coordinated effort across all facets of the energy system is vital for the net zero transition. While the core results and priority interventions identified in the LAEP are summarised at a regional level, the evidence base was developed at a more granular level facilitating additional analysis to inform strategic decisions and investment planning within Perth and Kinross.

LAEP Priority Intervention Areas
a diagram summarising the various priority intervention areas for the Local Area Energy Plan

As part of the process we have to consult NatureScot, SEPA and Historic Environment Scotland on whether the plan, programme or strategy is likely to raise issues of significant environmental impact.

We sent our Screening Report to the consultation authorities to determine whether the Strategy & Delivery Plan is likely to have significant effects on the environment on the 9th June 2023. You can also view the responses from the consultation authorities:

Having consulted the three consultation authorities, and having considered the criteria set out in the Act, the Council considered that the LHEES Strategy and Delivery Plan are unlikely to have significant environmental effects and has therefore decided that SEA is not required. You can also view the Screening Determination for further detail.

The Perth and Kinross LHEES consultation is now closed. The consultation sought views on the draft vision, priorities and actions. These priorities and key actions were used to shape the first Perth and Kinross Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) and accompanying 5 year Delivery Plan (2024 -2029) to be published in Spring 2024 alongside our Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP).

The Perth and Kinross LHEES is driven by Scotland’s overarching statutory targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and fuel poverty.

This Strategy was informed by developing a rigorous evidence base and through engagement with partners across Perth and Kinross and beyond. Ongoing collaboration, including sharing of knowledge, data, and innovations has been key to the development of Perth and Kinross’s LHEES and will be key to its successful delivery

The LHEES document is accompanied by web mapping for Potential Heat Network zones and Strategic Priorities .