Annex A: Recommendations Of The Special Working Group On Regulation Of The Expert Commission On District Heating
The Scottish Government's Heat Generation Policy Statement in 2014, prompted a majority of responses in favour of further regulatory measures for heat supply, including district heating. Accordingly, in 2014 the Scottish Government asked a number of members of the Expert Commission on District Heating, together with district heating practitioners and other key stakeholders from the private and public sectors, to serve on a special working group to look at the current regulatory environment in Scotland as it affects district heating and to make recommendations as to what changes, if any, would be helpful in supporting district heating development.
The reasoning behind the following recommendations and further detail can be found in the report  .
1. Local authorities to produce strategic plans for district heating and use their planning powers to enforce implementation.
2. Local authority powers should include the power to require buildings with significant heat loads to connect to a district heating network where this can offer heating at competitive cost.
3. A single set of national technical standards for district heating systems, to be developed by the Scottish Government working with the district heating industry and other stakeholders.
4. The establishment of clearly understood enabling powers for district heating infrastructure.
5. The Scottish Government to provide binding guidance on key priorities for local authorities' strategic plans for district heating.
6. The Scottish Government to develop a socio-economic methodology which can establish the overall socio-economic benefit of a district heating project and then set a threshold for benefit required under this methodology for a project to receive planning permission.
7. When a network is repowered or new heat sources are added there should be an ongoing obligation to conform to the local authority strategic plan for district heating to ensure these changes remain in line with national carbon policies and budgets.
8. A duty to be imposed on operators of all plants, including existing ones, which generate significant amounts of usable waste heat to require them to supply data on that heat for incorporation in the Scottish heat map and to supply that waste heat to district heating network operators at an economic price.
9. All new plants producing significant quantities of waste heat to be required to build in a take-off point for supplying that heat to a district heating network, i.e. that such plants should be 'district heating-ready'.
10. New energy generation or industrial plants with a significant waste heat potential should, so far as possible, be located within a useful distance of potential users of that heat.
11. Implementation of an appropriate statutory licensing regime for district heating operators in Scotland.
Email: Jamie McIntyre