NAPIT welcomes the Heat and Buildings Strategy and the Net Zero Strategy, published on Tuesday 19th October. The much anticipated documents set out a high-level overview of how the UK aims to reach the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Heat and Buildings Strategy promises £3.9billion for the decarbonisation of heat within buildings to support innovation and incentivise uptake of low carbon heating systems. It sets out how the Government plans to phase out the use of gas boilers and restrict the installation of new gas boilers from 2035. It announces a 3-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme to support this. The new scheme offers grants of between £5,000-£6,000 to homeowners in England and Wales, to incentivise the installation of low carbon heating systems such as Air Source Heat Pumps, Ground Source Heat Pumps and Biomass Boilers. The upgrade scheme which is set to replace the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive from Spring 2022, aims to encourage households to switch to low-carbon heating systems and it is hoped by Government that cleaner heat alternatives, such as heat pumps, will cost the same to buy and run as gas boilers by 2030.
The boost in funding for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant is also a welcome step towards decarbonisation, as is the Government’s pledge to develop a workforce pipeline with the skills to meet the requirements of the Net Zero transition. It is pleasing to read the Government’s commitment to work closely with industry to ensure installers have up-to-date, high-quality training and are not undercut by installers who offer low-quality, cheaper installations.
Furthermore, it is encouraging to see that the Net Zero Strategy committing an additional £620million to support the transition to electric vehicles. This will support the rollout of the charging infrastructure with a particular focus on local on-street residential charging, and targeted plug-in vehicle grants.
Commenting on the release of both strategy’s, NAPIT’s Group Chief Executive, Mike Andrews says: ‘We have been eagerly awaiting the publication of the Heat and Buildings Strategy and the Net Zero Strategy and welcome the direction that these two policies offer the industry. They set out the steps the Government intends to take to decarbonise the way we heat and power our buildings and provide a much needed level of certainty to the wider industry. As is often the case, the devil is in the detail, and whilst the strategies provide very useful oversight of future policy direction, we await further details about how the phasing out of fossil fuel boilers will be realised and what will be done to assist in the upskilling and re-skilling of installers which is needed to deliver the Government ambitions.
Installers are set to play a key part in the transition to net-zero carbon emissions. They are the UK’s delivery network, and without a strong, stable, confident, and competent installer base, reducing the carbon emissions in buildings will not be possible. We will continue to support installers to meet the training and certification requirements needed to assist with the decarbonisation of our buildings, whilst continuing to provide feedback from industry on the delivery of these initiatives in order to support the Government in their policy design.’