Information Issued On The Governments Heat and Buildings Strategy

Wind Turbine

Information was issued on the Governments heat and buildings strategy setting out their plan to significantly cut carbon emissions from the UK’s 30 million homes and workplaces in a simple. It aims to achieve this in a low-cost and green way, whilst ensuring it remains affordable and fair for households across the country.

Like the transition to electric vehicles, this will be a gradual transition which will start by incentivising consumers and driving down costs.

There are approximately 30 million buildings in the UK. The heating of these buildings contributes to almost 25% of all UK emissions. Tackling the carbon emissions produced in heating and powering homes, workplaces and public buildings can potentially save money on energy bills and improve lives. In addition it can support an increase in skilled green jobs by 2035, boosting the economic recovery.

The heat and buildings strategy builds on the commitments made in Clean growth: transforming heating, the Energy white paper and the Prime Minister’s 10 point plan. This strategy aims to provide a clear direction of travel for the 2020s, set out the strategic decisions that need to be taken this decade, and demonstrate how the government plan to meet our carbon targets and remain on track for net zero by 2050.

In addition to the heat and buildings strategy document, the government also released their Net Zero Strategy document. Whilst the UK has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 45% since 1990, the document provides further details how the government are going to achieve net zero and why the UK should be the first to act. The document also outlines the governments 4 key principles which are:

  • Work with the grain of consumer choice
  • Ensure the biggest polluters pay the most for the transition
  • Ensure the most vulnerable are protected through Government support
  • Work with businesses to continue delivering deep cost reductions in low carbon technology

Isaac Occhipinti, Director of External Affairs, HWA said:

“The government has to step up its efforts to decarbonise heating and hot water, and it was hoped that this long awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy would set us on the path to Net Zero.”

“Unfortunately it fails to recognise the untapped potential of hot water storage-estimated to be around 7 times the capacity of the UK’s largest pumped hydro power facility (Dinorwig in Wales)- instead, focusing on the heat source and forgetting the rest of the heating and hot water system.”

“There is much excitement around the role that energy storage technologies can play to help accommodate more low to zero carbon energy sources into the UK’s generation infrastructure, however, relatively little attention has been paid to hot water cylinders. There are currently approximately 9 million hot water cylinders installed, in homes across England, which is less than 45% of homes in England, down from 77% in 2001.

In order to meet Net Zero all UK homes will need low to zero carbon heating. Most currently available low carbon heating solutions require a hot water cylinder. We are in desperate need of a strategy to stop the decline in hot water storage population in the UK. If the Government are serious, about decarbonisation then we need to encourage homeowners, at the very minimum, to keep their hot water cylinder in order to future proof their heating system and maximise the UK’s energy storage potential.

“In addition to meeting multi outlet demand, storage systems are essential partners to any renewable energy input as these sources need to be harvested and stored. Hot water storage is the only practical solution to turning the energy into something useful and banking it for when it needs to be used.”

“The energy storage potential associated with the UK’s installed capacity of domestic hot water cylinders is comparable to our entire fleet of pumped-hydro-electric storage and with just a fraction of this resource; it would be possible to absorb the largest surpluses of renewable power that arise from offshore wind and solar PV.”

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