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Public Body Reporting Requirements

A central principle of the Net Zero Buildings Standard is verified and transparent performance reporting. It is critical that buildings’ performance against targets is well reported upon and assessed, and that the results are made publicly available.

Annual Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Report (PBCCD)

The Climate Change (Duties of Public Bodies: Reporting Requirements) (Scotland) Order 2015 mandates annual compliance reporting in respect of section 44 Climate Change Duties introduced by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. This applies to all bodies listed in schedule one. All public body reports are published on the SSN website. The 2020 Amendment introduced new questions with effect from April 2021 such that all reports must now also include:

  • where applicable, the body’s target date for achieving zero direct emissions of greenhouse gases (of which emissions from heating buildings is the largest component);
  • how the body will align its spending plans and use of resources to contribute to reducing emissions and delivering its emission reduction targets;

Typically, public bodies have to date included only operational carbon emissions from buildings in their annual reports (Scope 1 and 2 emissions). As focus on indirect Scope 3 emissions increases, public bodies are expected to work towards the inclusion of wider indirect emissions, including those from the purchase or building of capital assets.

There are sections of the report dedicated to emission reduction projects (planned activities intended to reduce emissions) e.g. energy efficiency projects and renewable energy generation projects. Examples include biomass boiler installations, building management system (BMS) upgrades, insulation improvements etc.

Difficulties with accurate reporting can arise: 

  • From how emissions are categorised: mixed scope - organisations report a single figure for emissions from buildings (in tCO2e) which is composed of heating fuels (Scope 1) and electricity generation (Scope 2).
  • When multiple organisations share a building. In this case energy use should be calculated proportionally based on floor area used.

Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies and Delivery Plans

Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES) will be the foundation of local energy planning and a crucial building block for a successful decarbonisation strategy. The Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (Scotland) Order 2022 places a statutory duty on local authorities to develop Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES) and Delivery Plans by 31st December 2023, and subsequently on a 5 yearly cycle. These are intended to set out long-term frameworks for delivering low-carbon heating and improving the energy efficiency of buildings to enable local planning and coordination. The plan will cover all local authority building stock; both domestic and non-domestic. This strategy builds on the learnings the LHEES pilot programme (completed in April 2021).

A LHEES will draw on the standardised methodology to:

  • Set out how each segment of the building stock needs to change to meet national objectives, including achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions, 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. (The Heat Networks (Scotland) Act 2021 places a duty on local authorities to conduct a review of areas suitable for heat networks within its area, the LHEES methodology should be how this review is conducted); and
  • Prioritise areas for delivery, against national and local priorities.

The LHEES delivery plan sets out how a local authority and their partners propose to support the implementation of its strategy over a 3–5-year period and to pinpoint areas for targeted intervention and low-regret measures. LHEES will evolve as the Scottish Government introduces future standards and regulation, as well as new delivery and funding programmes.

LHEES and Delivery Plans will act as an investment prospectus at national and local level, guiding delivery programmes, and signalling potential areas of investment to market actors. LHEES will support planning for the energy networks and over time will become an important evidence base for both the electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and Gas Distribution Network (GDN). They will support the Local Area Energy Planning approach being considered by the regulated energy networks sector and the UK regulator.

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