The Government has set out its plans to drive down the cost of low carbon heating technologies like heat pumps. Households are to benefit from £5,000 government grants through a £450m Boiler Upgrade Scheme to help install low-carbon heating systems.
There will also be a £60m innovation fund launched to make clean heat systems smaller, easier to install and cheaper to run.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “As we clean up the way we heat our homes over the next decade, we are backing our brilliant innovators to make clean technology like heat pumps as cheap to buy and run as gas boilers – supporting thousands of green jobs.”
The funding supports the Government’s ambition for all new heating systems installed in UK homes from 2035 to be low carbon.
The sector has been reacting to the news…
Joseph Daniels, an independent advisor to the Government on decarbonising construction and CEO of modular housing company Etopia Group, said: “Decarbonising our existing housing stock and guaranteeing that new development meets and exceeds binding net-zero obligations should be at the forefront of a Green Industrial Revolution.
“Retrofitting is by all estimations the elephant in the room. The Office of Budgetary Responsibility forecasts that more than £400bn will be required to reach a carbon-neutral built environment. That is a titanic burden on our national finances — almost half of the UK’s entire budget revenue in 2020 — which will require a lot more progressive thinking than the introduction of air and ground source heat pumps and a phasing out of gas boilers. Housing has the potential to be a net sequester of carbon if we seek to adopt and combine cutting-edge low carbon technologies that are already in use.”
Dave Sheridan, executive chairman at Homes England-backed modular house builder ilke Homes, said: “While welcome, the Government’s new heating and building strategy must be more ambitious in its goal to decarbonise the UK’s housing stock.
“To avoid huge retrofitting costs, policymakers must prioritise the delivery of zero-carbon new homes now by bringing forward the requirement to reach the Future Homes Standard ahead of 2025. Homes England, the Government’s forward-thinking housing agency, could also be reserving public land exclusively for housing that meets this standard to spur investment into the technologies that could create a green industrial revolution in housebuilding.”
Stewart Clements, Director of heating industry trade body, The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council, (HHIC) said: “As an industry, we have worked collaboratively to provide government with the information they needed to make policy decisions on the future of heat in domestic buildings in the UK. I am pleased that the key evidence outlined by HHIC has been acknowledged by BEIS.”
“HHIC today welcomes the publication of the Heat and Buildings strategy, HHIC and its members will continue to support the government and consumers with the transition to a mix of new, low-carbon heating solutions for different property types in different parts of the country – such as electric heat pumps, heat networks, and hydrogen boilers.”
Karen Boswell OBE, Managing Director at Baxi Heating said: “To achieve net zero emissions how we heat our buildings must change. Not only does this require innovation from the heating industry but also a pragmatic policy framework to drive change.
“As such we welcome today’s publication of the Heat and Buildings Strategy from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This important document details a roadmap for the decarbonisation of heat which the industry can, and must, support.
“We firmly believe that all viable technologies have a place, including electrification, hydrogen, and deployment of low carbon heat networks. BEIS is wise to leave these options open as it is abundantly clear that no single solution will deliver net-zero.”