Design and insulation standards are very high in the German city of Freiburg
Fancy living in a house without central heating? Reducing the amount of energy we use to heat our homes will be vital if Scotland is to meet its climate change targets by achieving a dramatic cut in greenhouse gas emissions.
But that doesn't have to mean shivering until spring. BBC Scotland's environment correspondent David Miller has visited one German city which is leading the way in sustainable living.
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You may not have heard of Freiburg but it is a fascinating place. It lies in the south west of Germany, right in the bottom left hand corner of the map.
France is a few miles to the west. Head south and you'll reach the Swiss border in less than an hour.
The weather people say Freiburg is Germany's warmest and sunniest city. But more importantly, Freiburg is also internationally recognised as a world leader in sustainable living.
There's great public transport, a focus on locally-produced organic food and lots of people cycle. So far, so predictable.
So what makes this city so fascinating? Its housing. Or, more accurately, the way the people of Freiburg heat their homes.
Standards of design and insulation are exceptionally high. That means many modern flats here don't even need central heating.
Local architect Frank York Irrgang takes me on a tour of one new flat to explain why.
As we stand at the front door, Frank knocks on the wall as he explains that the insulation is more than 20cm thick.
But the technological secret of the "passive house" only becomes apparent when we step inside and look in the hall cupboard.
Inside, there is a knot of shiny metal pipes.
Frank explains: "This is the ventilation system. It keeps the warmth in the house, while bringing in fresh air.
"There's one pipe coming in and one pipe going out. The pipes exchange the energy. That keeps the warmth inside in the winter and it keeps the heat outside in the summer."
A simple idea. But it's a very smart idea too. The advanced ventilation system and the flat's insulation mean the warmth generated by cooking, washing, and even breathing, is retained.
Peter Behrmann lives in what is claimed to be a "carbon neutral house"
This flat does have a radiator in the living room, but it's never been used. That means low bills and even lower CO2 emissions.
Our next stop is a "carbon neutral house" in a village outside Freiburg. It's considered to be carbon neutral because it is heated using wood pellets from the nearby forests.
It was built for Peter Behrmann and his partner Katja.
It's a cold December day but the sun is streaming in through the south-facing windows.
Peter tells me: "It is very cheap to run. We use the sun and wood from the forest. It is very warm and comfortable inside here. We have very thick walls which insulate the house perfectly and on sunny days in winter we don't have to use the heating."
So, what are the lessons for Scotland?
Professor Roger Crofts, of the Crichton Carbon Centre in Dumfries, believes we have to focus on reducing the amount of energy we use.
He says: "We have spent far too much time debating energy supply and we've not spent enough time on reducing the consumption of energy.
"The greatest source of energy use in Scotland is in the home - 34%. Two-thirds of that energy consumption in the home is space heating.
"We tend always to talk about switching off the light, switching off the television and the computer but it's heating the space in the house which is the critical point."
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Scottish government's climate change targets will require some tough choices in future.
But when it comes to heating our homes, there's the potential to cut bills and emissions too. Freiburg is showing us how.