Fossil fuel heating in new builds to be phased out in 2020s

Fossil fuel heating in new builds to be phased out in 2020s

13 October 2017

David Blackman, policy correspondent, Utility Week

Channel: Policy & regulation

The government will phase out the installation of fossil fuel heating in new build homes off the gas grid during the 2020s as part of a new wide-ranging clean growth strategy, while rebooting efforts to encourage carbon capture and storage.

The strategy, launched this week at an event in east London, also includes a commitment to reboot efforts to encourage carbon capture and storage (CSS).

Taken together, the raft of measures will form a central pillar of the government's plans for meeting the targets set in out its fifth carbon budget, which states that UK greenhouse gas emissions must fall to 57 per cent of 1990 levels by 2030.

The measures outlined in the strategy include:

  • Maintaining support for home energy efficiency improvements from 2022 to 2028 in line with the current level of ECO (Energy Company Obligation) funding
  • Phasing out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing homes currently off the gas grid during the 2020s
  • Aiming for "as many homes as possible" to meet the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2035 where "practical, cost-effective and affordable". This is on top of the existing aspiration that all fuel poor homes should be upgraded to this standard by 2030
  • Consulting on how social housing can meet EPC Band C over the same period
  • Investing up to £100 million in researching how to drive down costs of CCS in collaboration with international partners  
  • Consulting on raising energy efficiency minimum standards for rented commercial buildings following the conclusion of the independent review of building regulations and fire safety
  • Strengthening energy performance standards for new and existing homes under building regulations, including futureproofing new homes for low carbon heating systems
  • Building and extending heat networks across the country, underpinned with public funding until 2021
  • Discussing with the industry how to secure more competitive prices for future nuclear projects
  • Setting out how £2.5bn for supporting low carbon innovation will be allocated, including £265m for smart systems to reduce the cost of electricity storage and develop new ways of balancing the grid
  • Developing a sector deal with the industry for offshore wind

Climate change and industry minister Claire Perry said: "The impact of the Paris agreement and the unstoppable global shift towards low carbon technologies gives the UK an unparalleled opportunity."

"By focusing on clean growth, we can cut the cost of energy, drive economic prosperity, create high value jobs and improve our quality of life."


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