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Expert panel moots priorities for heat decarbonisation

This week BEIS Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Climate Change, Lord Callanan, joined an expert panel to discuss the beginning of the journey to zero emissions, on which the heating industry and its customers are about to embark. The department is soon expected to deliver its strategy for heat and buildings decarbonisation.

A key theme and outcome of the panel discussion was the pressing need for government and industry to engage consumers and influential heating installers. The widely-held view was that it was becoming essential to explain the benefits and transition path to new forms of low-carbon heat, namely hydrogen boilers, heat pumps and heat networks.

Karen Boswell, managing director of Baxi UK & Ireland, opened the virtual seminar by outlining the company’s plans to lead a sustainable heating revolution. This included Baxi’s ongoing research and development of low carbon technologies and its own role educating customers and installers.

The expert panel was also attended by Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive of Energy UK, Ian Rippin, chief executive of Microgeneration Certificate Scheme and Mike Thornton, chief executive of Energy Saving Trust, who explored the imminent need to begin decarbonising heating with current low carbon technologies, while future technologies and solutions are developed.

The panellists highlighted that, although there are known technologies and solutions that will help in this process, there are still challenges. This includes upskilling heating engineers to be able to install new low-carbon heating and hot water technologies.

Although the mix of low carbon technologies and its implementation has much further to go panellists agreed it was critical to deliver clear-cut solutions to meet the energy needs for the wide variety of buildings in the UK. To be successful, it was emphasised that now is the time for action in order to deliver a sustainable future for generations to come.

Ms Boswell said: “We are pleased to have started the first of many discussions which demonstrate Baxi, the Government and key industry organisations are fully committed to plans for the decarbonisation of heating and buildings.

“Making low carbon solutions readily available, ensuring there is a rich body of professionals to install them, and engaging the general public will be key to starting this progress. We can’t wait for a single, clear-cut solution that will likely never arise. Right now, we must get consumers and industry professionals on side to support the solutions, training and new services that are needed long into the future.

“Baxi is committed to leading the low carbon heating revolution. All products we manufacture will from 2025 work with low carbon energy sources and we have pledged that, by 2030, we will be net zero across our operations in the UK. In the meantime, we’re eager to get the conversation started with our industry partners and customers to ensure we make the transition that is coming is as smooth as possible.”

1 April 2021

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