Heat and Buildings Strategy: Green economy reacts, expressing hopes for more funding and tighter deadlines

WOBO acknowledges support for green energy but how much is enough?

The Strategy confirms heat pumps as the Government's preferred technology for decarbonising home heating in the near-term

Key figures from across the UK’s green economy have weighed in on the Heat and Buildings Strategy, with the general conclusion being that, while the ambition is welcome, measures will not be enough to meet future climate targets.

The Strategy has been published this evening (18 October), having originally been floated for autumn 2020. It includes a £3.9bn package, of which £450m will be spent on grants subsidising the upfront cost of heat pumps for homes.

With heat for buildings accounting for 21% of the UK’s annual national emissions, the Strategy intends to decarbonize activities that will be essential to abate if the 2050 net-zero target is to be delivered and interim carbon budgets adhered to.

Here, edie rounds up all the key reactions from across the UK’s green economy, taking the mood on the Government’s approach. More reactions will be added as we receive them.

The UK Green Building Council’s chief executive Julie Hirigoyen said: “UKGBC welcomes today’s recognition by Government that we must move away from heating our buildings with fossil fuels – and that households must be helped to make the transition to clean electric heating. 

“However, phasing out gas boilers from 2035 is not ambitious enough – there needs to be a clear cut-off date from 2030 to put us on track to meet net-zero. And £5,000 grants will help just 30,000 households – a drop in the ocean in the context of the 900,000 annual installations we need to see by 2028. Worse still, there’s no targeted financial help at all for low-income households to embark on the journey to clean electric heating – meaning that the gap between rich and poor will widen, not close.

!Yet more concerning is the Strategy’s failure to address several key priorities that UKGBC’s recent work has shown are non-negotiable to a net-zero carbon built environment by 2050. The most crucial of these include a large scale domestic retrofit programme; energy performance standards that rely on actual energy use; and an immediate drive to tackle embodied carbon emissions from construction and whole life

“This Strategy provides scant further detail on any of these aspects, and falls well short of what is required to make the transition to clean heat speedy and fair.”

Heat and Buildings Strategy: Green economy reacts, expressing hopes for more funding and tighter deadlines


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