Energy UK’s Briefing Paper about the Decarbonisation of Heating
Energy UK is the trade association for the energy industry with over 100 members spanning every
aspect of energy, from large scale renewables generators, major energy retailers, and SME
providers of services like electric vehicle charge points. The UK energy sector has led the
decarbonisation of the UK in the thirteen years since the Climate Change Act, with the power
sector reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 71%.
- The forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy needs to set out a credible plan on how we deliver solutions to decarbonise our heating. The Government will not meet its legislated net zero target without tackling emissions from buildings.
- It is vital that we ensure that the transition to low carbon homes does not leave the most vulnerable customers out of pocket, and that new services come with appropriate consumer protections, financial support and practical advice.
- To decarbonise heat, we will need to largely electrify it, installing heat pumps over the coming decades. We will need other technologies too, including energy efficiency measures, hydrogen, other renewable heat, and heat networks.
- The decarbonisation of buildings does not require immediate change from most households. There will be a gradual shift away from fossil fuel boilers as households replace their appliances and are offered lower carbon, more efficient alternatives. The Government should communicate this point clearly.
- Through giving clear timelines and consistent market incentives in its policy, alongside regulatory measures, the Government will help stimulate a strong private market response, and drive competition, developing the supply chain for lowcarbon heat technologies and bringing down costs for consumers.
- Energy efficiency is an enabler of heat decarbonisation, with additional public health and economic benefits. Following the end of the Green Homes Grant, the Government needs a long-term and funded energy efficiency retrofit programme.
- We can create mass employment across all regions of the UK by initiating an ambitious programme of domestic energy efficiency and low-carbon heat retrofit.