Heat and buildings strategy – what does it mean?

The UK government recently released its net zero strategy, a policy document outlining the steps the country will take to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Covering everything from nature restoration to home heating and electricity, the policies will touch every area of life in the UK as the country undergoes a “green transition” to avoid environmental catastrophe.

That means how you get to work, where you work, how your home is heated and even what your city looks like may all change during the next decade.

Alongside the net zero strategy, the government released its long-delayed “heat and buildings strategy”.

This strategy outlines how the government plans to decarbonise the UK’s building stock, which is currently responsible for almost a fifth of the country’s carbon emissions.

This is largely down to “leaky homes” which are poorly insulated and thus require more energy, and therefore more carbon, to heat.

The government has proposed grants of £5,000 to encourage homeowners and landlords to replace gas boilers with eco-friendly alternatives like heat pumps.

The government will ban the sale of new gas boilers after 2035 and has announced funding of £1.425 billion for public sector decarbonisation, with the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037.

If you are a property owner, you’ll be able to apply for the heat pump grant from 2022, while tenants in social or privately-rented properties may have their boiler replaced by an eco-friendly alternative in the coming years.

Having your boiler replaced by a more sustainable alternative will mean lower energy bills over time.

Though one thing that isn’t clear is whether the government has plans to help insulate properties which have low energy efficiency ratings. Without upgrading these homes and making them less leaky, installing technologies like heat pumps may be counterproductive.

At APHC we’d also like to see developments around hydrogen tech being brought forward at a better pace, as we believe heat pumps will not suit all property types, so a wider selection of low carbon options need to be available to the public.

So how does this affect you?

Renewable energy is much cheaper to produce than the energy we currently extract from fossil fuels. This means a transition to renewable energy could mean cheaper energy bills in the future. Once significant capital investment has been made into the tech to develop renewable solutions.

As we’ve seen in recent weeks, reliance on the gas market for energy can lead to huge fluctuations in price for consumers when supply is low.

Moving to renewable energy may mean that we’ll no longer be tied to this volatile market.

At APHC, we think this is a step in the right direction, but we need to see more in terms of decarbonisation and making the journey smoother for homeowners.

Need more advice?

Use APHC’s Find a Quality Plumber search facility at www.FindAQualityPlumber.co.uk to find a qualified and reliable plumbing and heating engineer local to you.