The Heat Pump Association (HPA) and The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA) have written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark.
The letter urges the UK government to use its forthcoming plan to reduce carbon emissions, now confirmed to be called the ‘Clean Growth Plan’, to address the significant gap in policy to tackle emissions from buildings.
The HPA, FETA and other organisations active in the energy efficiency and heat markets, are calling for new policies to encourage householders to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes, one of the cheapest ways to reduce emissions.
They also call for greater action on the transition to low carbon heat by helping investment in district heat networks and faster installation of electric heat pumps in homes off the gas grid.
The HPA, FETA and 30 other bodies have specifically called for:
- A long-term target for all homes to have an energy performance rating of C or above by 2035.
- The introduction of minimum standards on efficiency for existing homes, enforced at the point of sale, and backed up by grants and zero interest loans.
- All new buildings to be ‘nearly zero energy’ by 2020, as specified under the EU Energy Performance in Buildings Directive.
- A clear strategy and policy to accelerate the roll out of low carbon heat, particularly electric heat pumps, in buildings off the gas grid to 2020 and beyond.
- Support the growth of district heat networks by building on the Heat Network Investment Project through the 2020s and providing a long-term investment framework to facilitate lower cost capital.
- A local authority-led approach to heat decarbonisation, to ensure a long-term plan for all buildings that coordinates action on energy efficiency and low carbon heat.
The organisations have offered their support and expertise to the UK government in delivering the emissions cuts that the UK needs to achieve to meet the requirements of the Climate Change Act.
Image: While emissions from electricity generation fell 36% between 2012 and 2015 driven by lower coal use and increased renewables, emissions from buildings have remained flat over the same period, following significant cuts to government schemes to insulate homes, the demise of the Green Deal and the scrapping of the Zero Carbon Homes standard for new buildings.