Full support from government and local authorities required to cut emissions from heating

16th October 2019

Findings from an inquiry into the adoption of low carbon heat have now been published in the Future Gas Series Part 3 Report. Jeff House, head of external affairs at Baxi Heating, comments.


UK manufacturer, Baxi Heating, is proud to have supported the Carbon Connect inquiry and pleased to announce the launch of the Future Gas report. It examines the social aspects of decarbonising heat together with the related effects on the UK economy and explores the challenges associated with hydrogen and green gas in the homes of the public.


Statistics from the report show that domestic heat accounts for 13% of the UK’s annual emissions footprint. So, with 85% of homes heated by natural gas boilers at present, switching gas distribution networks to supply low carbon variants, such as hydrogen, to households is an essential step in helping the UK to reach its net zero emissions target.


The call for evidence was opened in October 2018 and ran for five months, whereby a number of MPs, industry professionals and representatives from Carbon Connect and Baxi, shared thoughts and stressed the importance of aligning government and local authority approaches to the delivery of low carbon heat and decarbonisation of the gas network.


The report findings highlight that the transition to low carbon heat requires coordinated planning – nationally, regionally and locally. On national and regional levels, government and local authorities should prioritise energy and heat policy to identify the mixture of low carbon heating options. On a local level, almost every house in the UK will be required to change to low carbon heating, and therefore the public must be engaged, informed and supported at each and every stage.


Notably, the report draws attention to the fact that domestic heat accounts for 13% of the UK’s annual emissions footprint, which is comparable to the contributions made by petrol and diesel cars. This statistic alone highlights the importance of decarbonising heat as part of the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.  Evidence revealed that the prioritisation of heat as a means of reducing carbon emissions amongst the public and politicians was limited. However, this was due to limited knowledge around alternative heating technologies and a lack of awareness around the practical implications of its implementation, as opposed to there being a lack of support.  


As with any technology evolution, there are a number of questions and challenges that lie ahead, not least with regard to rights and protections for households and a discussion around the distribution of cost for implementation more generally. Needless to say, next steps must include a clear commitment to allow industry investment, and the publication of a robust strategy for the decarbonisation of heat by 2025, which includes a robust trajectory for the installation of low carbon heating systems throughout the UK.


For the full report or further details around the Carbon Connect Inquiry, please visit Policy Connect.