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News 4 February 2022

Our response to the BEIS Committee report on decarbonising heat in homes

The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has published its seventh report of the 2021/22 session on decarbonising heat in homes in the UK, in response to the Heat and Buildings Strategy published in October 2021.

The report makes several positive recommendations that Energy Saving Trust strongly agrees the government should consider. We particularly support the report’s views on the importance of properly funded action to:

  • Insulate homes and roll out heat pumps.
  • The need for a domestic heat technology roadmap.
  • The urgency of an awareness campaign to aid the public’s understanding.

We support the Committee’s call on the government to do more to help householders financially. We agree that measures are required to help households access finance to install low carbon heating, including grants for those most vulnerable, and for a replacement of the Green Homes Grant to retrofit homes at scale, and at pace beyond the social housing sector.

We also welcome the report’s acknowledgement of the central importance of heat pumps to decarbonise heating in homes across the UK. We echo the Committee’s ask that the government sets out the intended milestones and targets it has in place to ensure the UK meets its 2028 target to deliver a minimum of 600,000 heat pumps a year, in order to deliver net zero by 2050. We also support the Committee’s recommendation to agree a ‘heat decarbonisation sector’ deal by 2023 to help develop low carbon technologies, accelerate the heat pump rollout, and support gas boiler engineers in re-training as heat pump installers.

We are particularly pleased to see the Committee highlight the need for increased public awareness and agree that the Heat and Buildings Strategy missed an opportunity to address this. We agree with the report’s view that the government must launch a campaign to drive up consumers’ understanding of the importance of the transition to low carbon heating in homes. The Committee recognises the value of Energy Saving Trust’s Home Energy Scotland advice service, which provides independent, tailored and expert advice. We think this advice and support should be available to households across the UK to help lower heating bills and accelerate decarbonisation.

Commenting on the report, Stew Horne, head of policy at Energy Saving Trust, said: “We are encouraged by the recommendations made today by the BEIS Committee in their report on decarbonising heat in homes.

“Meeting the challenge of net zero will mean changes within many of our homes and we welcome the report’s recognition of the important part that both low carbon heating and retrofit measures will play. To do this at the pace and scale required to meet the government’s ambitions, the UK must provide a clear, long-term plan to drive up the installation of heat pumps and give more certainty and confidence to supply chains.

“In addition, to ensure the public understand the importance of decarbonising their homes and what options are available to them, we fully support the report’s recommendation for an awareness campaign and recognition of the importance of having a trusted advice and support service in place. This will be more important than ever with rising energy bills so that households are supported to install low carbon heating systems and empowered to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

“Combined, these measures will not only help people save money on energy bills and provide protection from high prices on the global energy market, but they will also help to shape a fairer and more affordable future.”

Read the full report here.

Last updated: 4 February 2022