An action-focused plan is urgently needed to decarbonise the UK’s heat and buildings, suggest a range of clean heat organisations in an open letter written to the government.
Not-for-profit Regen and a range of other energy organisations call for policymakers to implement a funded support scheme for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation retrofits – they say it must avoid the ‘boom and bust’ cycles seen in the past and provide stable, long-term support.
The letter also urges the government to set up a carbon levy system based on the carbon intensity of heating fuels in order to “address the distortion of environmental levies being paid on low carbon electricity bills”.
It says Westminster must give local authorities more responsibility for planning and funding clean heat and energy efficiency schemes, as well as continue to support whole-house retrofit approaches and build backing for ground source heat pumps.
It also says new fossil fuel heating in off-gas grid properties should be banned by 2026.
Madeleine Greenhalgh, Policy and Advocacy Manager at Regen, said: “Years of stop-start policies have left the UK languishing on the starting blocks in the race to decarbonise homes and buildings. The industry, much of which is made up of small, local companies, is in urgent need of a clear plan from the government – the Heat and Buildings Strategy is therefore critical to allow the industry to expand, create new jobs and skills, and build a robust supply chain.
“Decarbonisation of heat and buildings is an immense opportunity for a just transition – creating comfortable homes and new jobs. We need a clear plan and strategy which enables it.”