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A future framework for heat in buildings

The Clean Growth Strategy, published in October 2017, was very clear on the challenges and opportunities involved in decarbonising heat in buildings. UK need to move to cleaner and smarter ways of heating homes, keeping household energy costs down and maximising comfort, whilst reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.

Objectives of the consultation

The pathway to the 2032 carbon budget set out in the Clean Growth Strategy makes it clear that action on decarbonising heat must be increased during the 2020s. In line with this, the Government set out an ambition to phase out installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing buildings off the gas grid, during the 2020s. The Government carried out work to consolidate and improve the evidence base on different approaches to the long term decarbonisation of heat, out to 2050, and plan to publish a report on this work in summer 2018.

This call for evidence focussed on action that can be taken sooner to build on the gains made by the Renewable Heat Incentive and decarbonise off gas grid buildings, heated by high carbon fossil fuels such as oil and coal. In this call for evidence the Government explored the options available and build consensus for action during the 2020s. The Government also sought to understand what can be done to reduce the barriers to installation of clean heating, reducing reliance on subsidy, while preparing the ground for future policy approaches that could include regulation. Evidence provided and responses received will be used to inform policy development ahead of more detailed consultation on specific policy instruments.

This call for evidence concluded on 11 June 2018.

Supporting papers

To download the consultation document, please follow the link below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE welcomes this consultation and is happy to continue to contribute to the work of BEIS on this issue. The Institution agree that buildings that are not connected to the gas grid can help define a future framework for low-carbon heat and can also help to create the scale needed for consumer awareness to grow and for low carbon supply chains to develop, including developing manufacturing, design and installer skills and experience, preparing for a future wider scale roll-out.

CIBSE has made the following key recommendations:

  • The UK’s heat framework is a complex and inter-related system; it needs an overall vision and detailed implementation measures, “working back” from that vision to identify the measures required from today to deliver it; the framework needs systems thinking and cannot be defined in isolation.
  • Energy efficiency is a key attribute of the energy system and needs to be a major part of the heat strategy; it needs more ambitious targets and a comprehensive national strategy. This would have significant benefits not only in terms of energy and carbon savings, but also in reducing the required grid capacity; it could also play a major part in helping to engage consumers with the co-benefits of low-carbon buildings, including comfort and health.
  • The UK needs a clear, strong and consistent regulatory framework. Past experience from carbon reduction policies and from the heating industry shows that given the scale and timescales of the challenge, solutions cannot be left to the market alone.
  • There needs to be confidence in the financial incentives in place until scale builds in the market, including support beyond 2021; incentives need to be consistent with the regulatory framework.
  • Lessons can and should be learnt from past policies and incentives such as the RHI and Green Deal including, crucially, on consumer behaviour.
  • Government and the public sector should lead by example.

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