Operational carbon

Decarbonising heat in the built environment

80% of Scottish homes use mains gas for heating

How we heat, cool and power our homes, buildings and infrastructure accounts for 50% of the total carbon footprint of the built environment with heating alone being responsible for 10% of the UK’s total carbon footprint.

Reducing operational carbon

Operational Carbon is the amount of carbon emitted during the use of a building, and includes carbon associated with the heating, lighting, management, maintenance and other annual services required by a building to perform its purpose.

Solution for both new and existing buildings include:

  • heat pumps
  • solar thermal
  • wastewater heat recovery systems
  • the implementation of district heating networks.

However, swapping gas boilers for greener alternatives is only half the battle. To ensure the biggest reduction in carbon, improvements to the building fabric need to play a part.

We support the development of solutions to increase energy efficiency of our buildings and the application of low carbon energy systems aligned with the 2045 net zero greenhouse gas emissions target and the Heat in Buildings strategy set by the Scottish Government.

Get in touch to find out more about how we can help with your low carbon energy systems.


Join the Scottish clean heat community to make use of the opportunities from this growing sector. HeatSource is a hub for anyone working with clean heat solutions whether that’s as a procurer, supplier, installer, manufacturer or skills provider.

Explore HeatSource to find the latest resources, events, meet others in the sector and discover the opportunities to work in this sector.