Cross-party report urges heat as a future policy

heat, low carbon heat, district heating, community heating
Heat as a policy for the next Government — MPs Jonathan Reynolds (left) and Dan Byles.

An independent report ‘Pathways for heat: low carbon heat for buildings’ calls on the next Government to set heat as a policy for the coming decade. It was prepared by Carbon Connect following a cross-party enquiry chaired by Shadow Energy Minister Jonathan Reynolds, MP, and the Conservative MP Dan Byles.

The report takes stock of what we understand today about the challenge of decarbonising heat for buildings by comparing six pathways for the sector to 2050 from a variety of different organisations (DECC, CCC, ETI, National Grid, UKERC and Delta EE).

The pathways examined paints a picture of the nationwide transformation getting underway in how we heat homes and buildings. The report identifies that by 2050, gas used to heat buildings could fall by 75 to 95% from its present level, electricity increase from 10% today to 30 to 80% and district heating increase from less than 2% to up to 40%.

At the same time, energy efficiency could help to reduce bills and offset the expected growth in heating needs from an expanding population and building stock.

Across most pathways examined in the report, mass deployment of low-carbon heat solutions ramps up in the lead-in to 2030. Carbon Connect’s over-arching recommendation is that the next decade should be spent developing a robust strategy for decarbonising heat in buildings whilst testing and scaling up delivery models. The report calls for the next Government to prioritise these preparations in the same way that preparing for decarbonising the power sector has been the over-riding focus of energy policy in the past decade.

Jonathan Reynolds, MP, comments, ‘This report is an important contribution to the debate about the future of heat policy in Britain. If we are to meet our carbon-reduction commitments, we need to think about how we use energy and heat our buildings.’

Dan Byles, MP, says, ‘Two points have stood out, Firstly, there is no one solution to cutting emissions from heating homes and buildings. Secondly, now is the time to step up our efforts, prioritise and prepare for transforming the way we heat our homes and buildings.’Carbon Connect is an independent forum that facilitates discussion between business, Government and Parliament to bring about a low-carbon transformation underpinned by sustainable energy.

Sponsored by the Energy & Utilities Alliance and the Institution of Gas Engineers and managers, the report is the first in a series of cross-party and independent enquiries.

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