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The Future of Heating: A strategic framework for low carbon heat

Heat is the single biggest reason we use energy in our society. The vast majority of our heat is produced by burning fossil fuels (around 80% from gas alone) and, as a result, heat is responsible for around a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. The 2011 Carbon Plan set out that if the UK is to play its part in the global effort to combat climate change, we will need our buildings to be virtually zero carbon by 2050. 

Objectives of the consultation

The strategic framework for low carbon heat set out how the heat is supplied and used, and describes how the heat system need to evolve over time, identifying the substantial changes required across our economy and the role for government. The document does not propose new policy but provides the strategic framework within which polices will be developed. The consultation on this heat framework closed on 24 May 2012. 

Supporting papers

To download the heat strategic framework document, please follow the link below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE welcomes Government’s recognition of heat as an important issue that must be addressed if the targets of the Climate Change Act 2008 are to be met but believes that managing heat demand is the most important, cost-effective way to reduce emissions from heat and costs to customers.

CIBSE recognises that skills shortages will be a serious barrier to decarbonising heating unless addressed effectively. The installation of insulation and new technologies such as heat pumps needs to be done to a high standard which will require better training, especially as heating systems become more complex, requiring a mixture of hardware and control systems suited to individual properties and lifestyles.

CIBSE believes that the proposals will only deliver the savings claimed in the consultation if supported by robust compliance and enforcement measures, involving both Building Control and the Competent Persons likely to undertake much of the consequential improvement work. Without these measures the claims for carbon savings, energy savings or energy demand reductions made in the consultation are entirely fanciful.

To read the full CIBSE response, please follow the link below.

Results of the consultation and next steps

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published a summary of comments received on the heat strategic framework and intends to develop specific policy proposals by March 2013. To download the summary report, please follow the link below.