ECA backs government plans for low carbon heat

Heat and buildings

The ECA has broadly welcomed the government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy, which includes a scheme to help UK households install new, low carbon heating systems.

However, ECA urges further action in the coming years to meet the UK’s net zero carbon 2050 target. Measures should include a wider package of solutions encompassing energy efficiency, heating, retrofits and decarbonisation of the grid.

Grants worth £5,000 per household will help ensure that low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps are no more expensive to install and run than fossil fuel boilers. A total of £450 million will be earmarked over the next three years for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

Luke Osborne, ECA Energy Solutions Advisor, says, “Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction. The grants will be more attractive than the outgoing Renewable Heat Incentive.

“However, £450 million over three years only equates to 90,000 installations. Industry is currently installing around 30,000 heat pumps per year, so this funding is unlikely to drive a large amount of additional demand – today’s announcement maintains the status quo for now.

“We need further commitment very soon if we are to make any considerable impact. The upcoming COP26 conference might be our best chance to do so.”

Paul Reeve, ECA Director of CSR, adds, “We welcome the intention to move price levies away from electricity. This will greatly stimulate the electrification of heating from an increasingly decarbonised grid, though restructuring the cost of domestic energy must also help to reduce fuel poverty.”

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is part of more than £3.9 billion of funding announced by the government for decarbonising heat and buildings. Gas boilers will be banned from 2035.

This announcement comes just before the COP26 climate conference, which will be hosted from 31 October in Glasgow.

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