In Focus: Heat

Businesses and homes alike need to be heated – but why is it one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise?

For this month's 'In Focus' we will be looking at heating, which holds the dubious distinction of being the UK's biggest source of carbon emissions -  it currently accounts for around 37% of the country's carbon footprint, the largest contribution of any sector.

Around 90% of homes use natural gas boilers to keep warm, while many businesses and industries also generate large amounts of emissions from heat - the health, hospitality, emergency services and education sectors have a huge demand for hot water for cleaning and catering purposes, while industrial processes such as high-temperature blast furnaces for making iron and steel also use a vast amount of energy to generate heat.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has said: "Heating is central to our lives. In our homes, we rely on it for comfort, cooking and washing. Businesses need heating and cooling for productive workplaces and heat is integral to many industrial processes. It is the biggest reason we consume energy in our society."

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