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Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce launched

The Green Finance Institute has launched a taskforce targeting financing mechanisms needed to accelerate uptake of zero-carbon heating technologies.

Heating and hot water in our homes together account for almost 40 per cent of the UK’s energy consumption and 20 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions. To meet the UK Government’s legally binding net-zero 2050 targets, a near complete decarbonisation of our heating systems is required.

Launched by the Green Finance Institute as part of its Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB), the Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce convenes a focused group of CEEB members from financial services, local and national government, the energy and construction industries, academia and civil society, together with experts from the heating sector, to design, launch and scale the financing mechanisms needed to enable the rapid adoption of zero-carbon heating technologies in individual buildings and across entire districts of the UK.

The Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce will conduct a focussed review to identify the barriers and enablers to investment into low-carbon heating across the UK housing market – including for on and off gas grid homes, new builds and district heating networks – and leverage these findings to co-design and launch a series of new financial products and non-financial enablers to help channel investment into the sector.

It follows the same action-focussed strategy as the CEEB, which launched in December 2019 and has since established the case for retrofitting buildings to high energy efficiency standards, analysed the current investment barriers to take-up, and used its combined knowledge of the finance and building sectors to generate a portfolio of 21 financial demonstration projects that are commercial, scalable and mobilise capital flows towards the retrofit of UK homes to improved energy performance standards; the first of these will launch later this month. The Taskforce is supported by transformational policy advisors, E3G.

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, chief executive, Green Finance Institute, said: “Focussing on the heating and hot water in our homes is a natural next step for the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings, which is working to create financial pathways to the widescale adoption of retrofitting across all residential tenures. We are delighted to convene this group of experts to move quickly to launch financial products and mechanisms enabling every home to access zero-carbon heating.”

Charlotte Owen, policy manager, The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) added: “To decarbonise the UK’s heating, it needs to be more attractive to invest in low carbon heating, including city-scale heat networks, than in fossil gas boilers and fossil gas networks. To achieve this, we need to reform the signals to investors and ensure policy incentivises investment in a low cost, low carbon, high comfort offer to consumers. The ADE is delighted, therefore, to be taking part in the Green Finance Institute’s Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce, which will make a meaningful contribution to shaping the low carbon investment landscape.”

16 September 2020

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