Yesterday evening, UK government published the long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy, a blueprint to reduce carbon emissions from the provision of heat in buildings.

The strategy builds on pledges previously included in Boris Johnson’s 10 Point Plan and the Energy White Paper, such as the aim to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028.

Typically, in the property sector, it’s recognised that buildings account for 40% of UK emissions. Around 21% of this originates from energy use (particularly heat) in buildings – meaning it has the biggest impact on everyday life than virtually any other emissions source.

Fossil fuel gas boilers are being phased out over the next 14 years, to be replaced by low carbon alternatives. Currently, it’s estimated that 85% of UK households are connected to the gas grid.

The Heat and Buildings Strategy (originally due Autumn 2020) will be formally set out today alongside the government’s Net Zero Strategy. The plan includes a £3.9bn package to decarbonise heat in buildings through a series of schemes such as the Heat Networks Transformation Programme and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

More specifically, £450m of the package is committed towards the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme. From April next year, homeowners will be offered grants of £5,000 to upgrade their gas boilers with low carbon alternatives. Although it’s unlikely we’ll see one technology dominate the low carbon heating sector, there is particular interest around heat pumps, district energy and hydrogen.

 

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.

Our new grants will help homeowners make the switch sooner, without costing them extra, so that going green is the better choice when their boiler needs an upgrade.”

 

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

“Recent volatile global gas prices have highlighted the need to double down on our efforts to reduce Britain’s reliance on fossil fuels and move away from gas boilers over the coming decade to protect consumers in long term.

As the technology improves and costs plummet over the next decade, we expect low carbon heating systems will become the obvious, affordable choice for consumers. Through our new grant scheme, we will ensure people are able to choose a more efficient alternative in the meantime.”