Elmhurst supports phasing out fossil fuel heating in homes, businesses and public buildings off the gas grid

A key consultation which feeds into the UK’s Heat and Buildings Strategy has now closed. The consultation highlighted proposals on phasing out fossil fuel heating in homes, businesses and public buildings off the gas grid.

What was proposed?

The two consultations proposed using the natural replacement cycle to phase out the installation of fossil fuel heating systems in both domestic and non-domestic buildings off the gas grid planned for the mid-2020s.

What is the natural replacement cycle?

At the point their existing system requires replacement, they will install a low carbon one instead.

The key proposals raised within the document included:

Homes off the gas grid:

  1. An end to the installation of fossil fuel heating in homes off the gas grid from 2026;
  2. A ‘heat pump first’ approach to replacement heating systems from 2026; and
  3. Requiring high performing replacement heating systems where heat pumps cannot reasonably practicably be installed

    Businesses and Public Buildings off the gas:

    1. Use the natural replacement cycle to phase out oil, LPG or coal heating systems in businesses and public buildings off the gas grid.
    2. Take a heat pump first approach to the replacement of those fossil fuel systems.
    3. Allow the limited use of alternative low carbon systems, such as solid biomass, where a heat pump is not suitable.
    4. Introduce the policy using a phased approach with the largest buildings first (from 2024 at the earliest), followed by smaller buildings (from 2026).
    5. Consider whether it may be appropriate to end the use of fossil fuel heating in all non-domestic buildings off the gas grid, potentially in the 2040s

    How did Elmhurst respond?

    You can read our full response to the consultations relating to homes and businesses and public buildings, however, the main points that we have raised can be found below:

    Homes off the gas grid:

    ·       For properties to be considered for a heat pump, or other sustainable technology where this is not appropriate, an EPC should be issued first to measure these improvements and to recommend the most suitable solution.

    ·       The fuel price of the heating system will need to be included in structure of EPC for public awareness. The price should be updated to include new technologies and heat pumps in the recommendations.

    ·       The Retrofit (PAS203/2035) standards should be followed for this scheme to move forward. By using these registered standards, a fabric first approach system should be adopted before either a heat pump or other appropriate measures are installed.

    ·       We support incentives being issued to install heat pumps or other appropriate measures and reducing barriers with Green levies to encourage and support the transition for the public.

    Businesses and public buildings off the gas grid:

    • For properties to be considered for a heat pump, or other sustainable technology where this is not appropriate, an EPC should be issued first to measure these improvements and to recommend the most suitable solution.

    • The retrofit standards (PAS 2038) should be followed for this scheme to move forward. By using these recognised standards, a whole building approach should be adopted before either a heat pump or other appropriate measures are installed to identify any unintended consequences.

    • We support incentives being issued to install low carbon heat or other appropriate measures and reducing barriers with green levies to encourage and support the transition for the public.

    Elmhurst's Head of Operations, Josh Wakeling, comments: "It is great to see government recognising the urgency in phase out fossil fuel heating systems in both domestic and non-domestic buildings off the gas grid. This consultation provides welcome intent to move forward with installation of low carbon heating systems and energy efficiency of buildings".


    Read Elmhurst's consultation response to: Phasing out the installation of fossil fuel heating systems in businesses and public buildings off the gas grid

    Read Elmhurst's consultation response to: Phasing out the installation of fossil fuel heating in homes off the gas grid


    Article Published: 13/01/22

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