Following publication of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) ‘Reducing UK emissions 2019 Progress Report to Parliament’, OFTEC's chief executive, Paul Rose, highlights the need for government to harness the expertise of the existing heating industry to drive forward decarbonisation.
Mr Rose said: “In its review, the CCC notes that urgent progress needs to be made, particularly in decarbonising emissions from buildings. Off-gas grid buildings are particularly challenging and the CCC correctly identifies that plans for phasing out fossil fuel heating from this sector and support for heat pumps from 2021 remain unclear. It should be obvious that if this were a straightforward task, policy would already be in place. However, the CCC’s blanket recommendation that heat pumps should be deployed in these homes is simply not achievable without enormous cost and upheaval for consumers – factors which are proving considerable barriers to take up.”
He continues: “The potential damage of electrification to the existing heating industry should also be considered. Manufacturers, fuel suppliers and installers represent a significant national asset that should not be carelessly cast aside. It’s far better to evolve the sector, using the skills and expertise already in place to accelerate decarbonisation efforts.The diverse nature of off-grid homes that currently use oil heating demands a range of competitive low carbon solutions and this is best achieved by working collaboratively with both existing and new heating industries. OFTEC members are fully committed to providing an easy way for consumers to transition from heating oil to a low carbon liquid biofuel, with minimal cost and disruption. Our independent research shows this is both achievable and more cost effective than other options, including electrification.'
Mr Rose concludes: “Rapid progress with decarbonisation can only be achieved with consumer support. It is therefore vital that, alongside much greater support for energy efficiency improvements, the government embraces solutions such as liquid biofuels that households can readily and affordably adopt, and which our industry is already well-placed to deliver.”
Households in England and Wales will be able to benefit from £5,000 in government grants through a £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme to help install low-carbon heating systems.
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