Call for evidence: Consumers and Low Carbon Heating in Scotland

Published: 20 April 2020

Energy Systems Catapult is working with ClimateXChange to gather evidence that explains why some people in Scotland (and in different geographies within Scotland) have taken up low carbon heating technologies and others have not.

The evidence gathered will support the Scottish Government in their ambition to reduce carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2045, in particular through informing the development of low carbon heat policies and helping identify which research gaps are most important to fill.

Our research has two aims:

  1. Identify and review up-to-date evidence to explore the reasons why some people in Scotland have moved to low carbon heating while others have not. That could include, but is by no means limited to:
    • Awareness and perceptions of and attitudes towards low carbon heating
    • Awareness and perceptions of, and access to, incentives that promote switching to low carbon technologies (e.g. RHI, Home Energy Scotland Loan Scheme)
    • Households’ situational factors that facilitate or necessitate switching to low carbon technologies (e.g. moving into a new home, home renovation).
  2. Examine differences between households on the basis of whether or not they currently have low carbon heating technology, geography and location, demographics, socioeconomic factors and housing tenure.

Evidence will be evaluated to understand the key findings, determine the robustness of the evidence base and identify any evidence gaps.

The review will focus on domestic (i.e. residential) consumers and households in Scotland where possible, otherwise in the UK. Evidence from other regions and countries is also welcome, accompanied by an explanation of why it may be applicable to Scotland.

For the purposes of this call for evidence, ‘low carbon heating’ is defined as: heat pumps (including hybrid heat pumps), district heat networks, solar thermal, biomass, hydrogen and micro CHP. Evidence relating to other forms of electric heating, e.g. storage heaters, is also welcomed but may not be reviewed if we receive very large volumes of evidence relating to the other listed types of low carbon heating.

This is a rapid call for evidence, due to the timetable for this project. We will endeavour to review as much of the material we receive as possible but there may be a limit if we receive very large volumes. In this instance, priority will be given to those sources deemed to be of highest quality and relevance.

To submit your application, complete this form. The closing date is Monday 4 May 2020.

If you’d like to include any attachments as part of your response, please email it to: with your name and organisation details. 


Relevant evidence covers at least one of the following topics:

  1. The public’s awareness of and attitudes towards low carbon and renewable heating technologies, including perceptions of benefits, drawbacks, practical factors and costs involved in installing and running these technologies
  2. What has led some people to adopt (or plan to adopt) low carbon heating and what prevents others from doing so
  3. Why people have, or have not, used initiatives and schemes (e.g. RHI, Home Energy Scotland Loan Scheme) that facilitate access to low carbon heating systems
  4. Among those who do currently have low carbon heating, what are their experiences of the transition to these technologies and how do those compare to their earlier expectations
  5. Differences in perceptions, attitudes and uptake of low carbon heating systems between different consumer groups
    • Consumer groups may be those differentiated on the basis of demographics, geography (regions within Scotland, urban/rural, on or off gas grid), socioeconomic factors, housing tenure, or other factors not listed here.

Who is this call for evidence open to?

We would like to invite written responses from a variety of different perspectives, including (but not limited to):

  • Business and other organisations who provide (or may provide, in future) products and services to consumers in Scotland, whether directly or indirectly
  • Local authorities, particularly those based in Scotland
  • Academic organisations
  • Organisations representing citizens
  • We welcome the sharing of this call for evidence among your own networks.

Please complete the online submission form by providing:

  • Who you are responding for e.g. which organisation or individual.
  • Your (or your organisation’s) connection to this or related topics.
  • Which of the topics you are responding to.
  • Whether or not evidence involves those who currently have a low carbon heating system (please highlight if this is not known).
  • How the evidence is relevant to Scotland.
  • If you are happy for us to contact to you during this project and/or related projects in the future (include your contact details).
    We may publicly acknowledge those who have provided relevant responses to this call for evidence. If you would like to be omitted from such acknowledgement or wish for your response to be treated confidentially, please highlight this in your response.

To submit your application, complete this form. The closing date is Monday 4 May 2020.

If you have any queries, please email us at: