The newly unveiled Heat and Buildings strategy doesn’t go far enough to address major problems in the race to reach Net Zero, warns Tim Rook, Chief Markets Officer at Clade Engineering, a leading designer and manufacturer of CO2 heat pumps.
The long-awaited strategy was unveiled yesterday and contains details of the Government’s £3,9bn plan to improve access to energy efficient heating technologies. Part of this is a £450m boiler upgrade scheme, which will allow homeowners to apply for grants of £5,000 towards installation of low-carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps. However, when delving into the details, Tim is concerned that the plan doesn’t go far enough.
“It’s great to see the Government finally moving on the climate critical issue of heat and promoting heat pumps as the best form of sustainable heating technology on the market. However, the strategy is far too small and fails to adequately address the major issue of the difference between the price of gas and that of power. If the Government were to rebalance this it would transform the market and really drive mass adoption of low carbon heat pumps,” Tim explains.
“The strategy is further confused by the inclusion of hydrogen and weakened by many follow-on consultations and studies. There is some content that is likely political bluster, such as the mention of 25% price reductions for green technologies and its disappointing to see house buildings being given at least three more years of building inefficient housing when we could be building better right now.” He adds
Decarbonising heat is one of the most effective ways of lowering emissions in the UK, but with 85% of UK homes reliant on gas for heating, more needs to be done to improve access to green heating technologies. £5,000 grants will help just 90,000 households, a drop in the ocean against the 600,000 annual installations needed by 2028 to reach Net Zero.
Time is of the essence, as Tim explains,“There is a fixed budget of carbon we can release into the atmosphere before we exceed our target of 1.5C of global warming. If we fritter that budget away in a short period of time, we don’t get it back. Leaders have to stop being wilfully blind, recognise the critical risks we face and act fast to mitigate them, for all our sakes.