In a new report unveiled today (21st February 2019), ‘UK housing: Fit for the future?’ the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) warns that the UK’s legally-binding climate change targets will not be met. The UK must slash greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent compared to 1990 levels by 2050 under the Climate Change Act 2008.
Priorities for Government action
The proposals in the report highlight five priorities for the Government to act now to improve the quality of UK homes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to safeguard our comfort, health and well-being as the climate changes. One of the priorities is that newly-built properties should rely on low-carbon heating and cooking equipment such as induction hobs.
Property developers would not be allowed to connect new-builds to the gas grid after 2025. This would lead to a ban on gas hobs, gas radiators and boilers been installed in new homes.
What would that mean for new-builds?
The Home Builders Federation said the proposed ban would make new-builds a harder sell, as gas boilers are often cheaper and preferred by buyers.
Fitting a low-carbon heating system, such as an air source heat pump, could add £5,000 to the cost of a new-build. The committee admitted that high-tech low-carbon heaters can take longer to warm a room than traditional boilers.
A ban ‘by 2025 at the latest’ was deemed necessary to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases caused by household energy use.
Households currently use 14 per cent of the UK’s energy total. A spokesman for the Home Builders Federation said: ‘Builders need to sell homes so alternative energy sources have to be attractive to consumers. *
Chair of CCC’s statement
Baroness Brown, Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, said: “This report confirms what we have long-suspected: UK homes are largely unprepared for climate change. The Government now has an opportunity to act. There must be compliance with stated building designs and standards. We need housing with low-carbon sources of heating. And we must finally grasp the challenge of improving our poor levels of home energy efficiency. As the climate continues to change, our homes are becoming increasingly uncomfortable and unsafe. This will continue unless we take steps now to adapt them for higher temperatures, flooding and water scarcity. Our report shows that this work has barely begun.
How HIES Members have already been working to reduce carbon emission
Home Insulation & Energy Systems Contractors Scheme (HIES) members already install on average 2000 Solar PV, Energy Storage and Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) each month helping to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions. Supported by finance and funding to enable greater deployment. HIES, through providing industry-leading consumer protection solutions is enabling its members to sell and install more, whilst ensuring consumers are fully protected.
*Reported in the Daily Mail 21st February 2019 – Gas hobs and boilers could be BANNED from new homes within six years to meet carbon emissions targets