NEW buildings in Scotland will not be permitted to have gas boilers in them from the spring of next year under rules put forward by the Scottish Government.

The regulations would prevent the use of heating systems which produce “more than a negligible level of greenhouse gas emissions” during normal operation.

If passed by Holyrood, the rules will come into effect from April 2024, and would apply to both houses and business properties.

The move directly meets a commitment made in the Bute House agreement, the power sharing deal between the SNP and Scottish Greens.

Greens co-leader and minister for zero carbon buildings Patrick Harvie said switching to more environmentally friendly heating systems was “essential to deliver our commitment to make buildings zero carbon by 2045”.

Mr Harvie said: “Along with transport, heating Scotland’s homes and buildings is one of the biggest contributors to our carbon emissions and we know we have to take bold action to meet our climate obligations.

“These regulations will mean that direct emissions heating systems – like gas boilers – will no longer be installed in new homes and non-domestic buildings. Instead, they will be replaced by climate-friendly alternatives like heat pumps and heat networks.

“This change is essential to deliver our commitment to make buildings zero carbon by 2045.

“It will also mean that people who buy new homes will know that their home is future-proofed against the need to have to switch heating systems in the future.”

The minister hailed the regulations as “another example of Scotland leading the way in addressing the big challenges that we need to solve to meet our net-zero targets and making sure we have buildings that meet the needs of the 21st century”.

Fabrice Leveque, climate policy  anager at WWF Scotland, welcomed the proposal from the Scottish Government.

He said: “This is an important and sensible change to how we heat new builds going forward. By ensuring these homes have low-emission heating systems from day one, it reduces the impact on the climate, but also protects future owners from volatile fossil fuel prices.

“Most climate emissions come from the homes we already live in, and so we look forward to hearing how the Scottish Government plans to phase out these fossil fuel boilers.”