Heating is responsible for over 50% of the total energy demand in Scotland and currently most of this is provided through gas boilers. Until recently research and policy focus has been on the decarbonisation of electricity but this is shifting to include also the decarbonisation of heat. In order for Scotland and the UK to fulfil their greenhouse gas reduction targets, a transition to virtually zero-carbon heating is necessary. This challenge is multi-dimensional and includes building-level technological change and innovation, replacement and reconfiguration of energy networks, non-traditional business models and shifts in energy governance. Thus the deployment of low carbon heating is not only a technical problem but faces issues of uncertainty and social coordination, and requires a supportive political, legal and financial framework. Accordingly applied research in this area requires a multi-disciplinary collaborative effort.