21 October 2021

IOM3 welcomes the UK Heat and Buildings Strategy

The long-anticipated Heat and Buildings Strategy has been published (Tuesday 19 October 2021), which sets out the government’s plan to significantly cut carbon emissions from the UK’s 30 million homes and workplaces in a simple, low-cost and green way.

It comes as the UK Government also released its Net Zero Strategy in the lead up to the Glasgow Climate Summit (COP26).

The government pledges £3.9 billion of new funding for decarbonising heat and buildings to help the UK meet net zero by 2050. 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 government plans to meet its carbon targets to reach net zero by 2050.

The strategy sets out that the transition to low-carbon buildings could add £6 billion GVA (gross value added) and support 175,000 skilled, green jobs by 2030. Grants across England will also be offered, such as the Home Upgrade Grant and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund. These grants and funds are an important part of meeting the net zero target, but also represent a key part of government’s strategy for tackling fuel poverty. The document announces plans to invest £450 million in a Boiler Upgrade Scheme to support households who want to make the switch to low-carbon heat pumps with £5,000 grants.

IOM3 CEO Colin Church FIMMM CEnv, says, ‘Heating our homes and businesses is responsible for a significant proportion of our greenhouse gas emissions, so decarbonising this is vital. The expertise of professionals in materials, minerals, and mining will be essential for this to happen. ’

Some key aspects of the strategy of interest to IOM3 members include: 

  •  An aim to phase out the installation of new and replacement natural gas boilers from 2035
  • The intention to set better minimum environmental performance standards for a range of products and encourage greater uptake of more energy and resource-efficient products for example through improved consumer information on labels
  • Consultation on ending new connections to the gas grid to homes constructed from 2025
  •  Innovation project to test the feasibility of a large-scale roll-out of heat pumps
  •  Hydrogen village scale trial by 2025
  • Ambition for 1GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2025
  • The intention to support and develop a range of commercially viable low carbon sources of heat such as energy from waste plants and geothermal heat support investment in UK biomethane industry
  •  A 75-80% reduction in carbon emissions from new homes in England from 2025.

A copy of the heat and buildings strategy can be found via the button below.