A Future Framework for Heat in Buildings

Before Easter the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) issued a ‘Call for Evidence’ regarding how to phase out installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing buildings (off the gas grid), during the 2020s.

The Call for Evidence explains what the Government mean by this ambition, and seeks evidence on how they could implement it.

Claire Perry the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth states:

“This is an ambitious change to the way millions of people heat their homes and businesses and presents a significant market opportunity. However, this is also something that must be done if we are to meet our legally binding carbon targets, improve air quality and ensure that everyone has warm, comfortable home. This call for evidence is the beginning of a long journey, and I am committed to bringing everyone with us.”

“I believe it is imperative that we collaborate with industry through this heating transition. It is essential for installers, suppliers and manufacturers in the coal and oil sectors to show leadership. Government will listen to, and work with, our experienced heating experts from all sectors of the heating industry.

However, it must be understood that we will not be heating our buildings in 2050 by setting fire to the same substances people burned in the Victorian era. Progress is a crucial part of our Industrial Strategy: it keeps UK businesses at the cutting edge. Our heating industry must retain its position as a world leader, seeing this process as an opportunity to lead the change that is necessary, and not let the world change without them.”

The call for evidence looks at different aspects of decarbonising heat in all buildings (new and existing, domestic and commercial). It is aligned to the Clean Growth Strategy with its aim in the long term to phase out high carbon fossil fuel heating. In recognising that Government do not want to be funding renewable heating forever, they wish to consider how they can smooth the transition from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme to support industry in delivering this ambitious energy transition, as well as the future potential for regulation that may be necessary to ensure the transition happens.

The call for evidence also considers clean heating technologies for off gas grid properties (both domestic and non-domestic). The government wishes to continue to develop the evidence base they have on the technologies that can be used as alternatives to oil and coal heating systems. They want to examine the barriers to uptake, and gain an understanding of what further innovation and cost reduction is possible for new and existing technologies. Technologies being considered include biomass, bioliquids and biopropane, hybrids and gas driven heat pumps, electric heating including heat pumps, and the potential for rural heat networks.

The government recognises that innovation will be key to improving these technologies, making them more attractive and suitable for householders and businesses, and reducing costs. A £10 million innovation fund to support low carbon heating is in the process of being allocated and they are keen to understand what further opportunities there are for innovation.

Elmhurst welcomes the call for evidence and will be responding in due course.  

Deadline for submissions: 11.45pm 11 June 2018

Call for Evidence Docs (BEIS): https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-future-framework-for-heat-in-buildings-call-for-evidence

Clean Growth Strategy: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/clean-growth-strategy

Article Published: 20th April 2018

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