Phasing out the installation of fossil fuel heating in off grid homes, businesses and public buildings

On the 19th October 2021, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched two new consultation called “Phasing out the installation of fossil fuel heating in homes off the gas grid” and “Phasing out the installation of fossil fuel heating systems in businesses and public buildings off the gas grid”. These consultations focus on:

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 grid:

  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.

Almost 30% of national greenhouse gas emissions and carbon emissions are from heating our homes and buildings. Decarbonisation of heat is recognised as one of the biggest challenges we face in meeting our legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. With this in mind, these consultations were launched alongside the Heat and Buildings Strategy last month, which sets out their immediate and medium-term plans to reduce emissions from buildings through deploying energy efficiency measures and low-carbon heating.

BEIS are also considering whether it is appropriate to end the use of fossil fuel heating in all homes off the gas grid, potentially by the late-2030s and all non-domestic buildings, potentially in the 2040s. The government is considering different options for how these changes could be introduced, including making changes to the Building Regulations, approved documents and associated guidance, or taking new legal powers in primary legislation. The government intends to launch further consultations on the technical changes to existing regulations or guidance, or other legislation, needed to deliver this policy ahead of implementation, and would intend to use that exercise to consider what additional support may be needed for households switching to clean heat under the regulations.

Elmhurst is currently drafting its responses to each and we ask members to read the consultations and either provide your comments to us, or, even better, complete your own response. There is no one better placed to comment than the Elmhurst members who spend their careers analysing and improving the energy efficiency of homes and non-domestic buildings.

The deadline for both consultations is 12th January 2022

Read the consultation documents via the links below:

Homes -

Businesses and public buildings -

Article published: 11th November 2021

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