Pathways for Heat: Low Carbon Heat for Buildings

17th November 2014

This report calls on the next Government to set heat as a priority for the coming decade. During the 2010-2015 Parliament, the big energy policy priority was progressing power sector decarbonisation by agreeing Electricity Market Reform. Now Electricity Market Reform is legislated and being implemented, it is time for policy-makers to reassess their priorities. We must scale up efforts to prepare for decarbonising heat in buildings by filling the gaps in the evidence that shapes strategy and deploying solutions to develop delivery models and meet targets.

Heat accounts for nearly half of the energy consumed in the UK and a third of carbon emissions. Around 80 per cent of heat is used in homes and other buildings, and gas dominates the fuel mix meeting around 80 per cent of consumers’ heating needs. The remaining 20 per cent is mainly industrial process heat, which is also an area in need of more attention from policy makers. Progressively cutting carbon emissions whilst tackling fuel poverty and keeping energy secure will drive a wholesale transformation in the way we heat our homes and buildings. In this inquiry, we have looked at a range of different pathways that the sector could follow to 2050, and two points have become particularly clear. Firstly, we have a range of credible options to decarbonise heat for buildings. Secondly, now is the time to step up our efforts to prepare these and put in place the fundamentals that will deliver more comfortable homes, tackle fuel poverty and decarbonise heat for buildings.

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