In 2019, the UK passed a new law to reduce all emissions to net zero by 2050. This means that all homes will need very low / zero carbon heating. Currently, only 1-2% meet these standards. As most of us keep our gas boilers for 15 years, the target implies that we need to stop installing these by 2035.
This now gives us just 14 years to build a supply chain capable of installing 1.6 million low carbon alternatives to gas boilers each year, to match current installation rates.
First though, there are some pretty chunky questions to be resolved – not least, What? How? and the trickiest, Who pays? We should have more clarity on the heat roadmap in the autumn when the government are expected to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy (the strategy is now expected in Spring 2021).
The UK Government’s advisors, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) expect this to ‘take low-carbon heating from a niche market in the UK to the dominant form of new heating installation by the early-2030s’. On the who pays issue, the Treasury is part way through a 12 month review into ‘how the transition to Net Zero will be funded and assess options for where the costs will fall.’
Read our first article in the series about low carbon heat, on the missing millions and the future of low carbon consultation.