New paper suggests regulation could put heating on track for net zero

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SUSTAINABLE Energy Association has published a paper demonstrating how regulation could put heating on the path to reach net-zero by 2050.

The paper proposes a carbon intensity regulation which would set progressively stricter limits to the permitted emissions per kWh of heating provided.

The government has committed to phasing out fossil fuel heating in properties off the gas grid by the end of the 2020s and decarbonise heat to achieve net zero by 2050 and the suggested regulation sets a pathway to achieve this.

To meet the government’s commitments, the regulation encourages the replacement of fossil fuel and inefficient heating systems with efficient, low carbon heating systems over time.

When a heating technology needs to be replaced, the new system must adhere to the emissions intensity standard at that point in time.

The carbon intensity standard is calculated by identifying the carbon intensity of the fuel and the efficiency of the heating system.

The certainty provided by a long-term trajectory would send a strong signal to investors and manufacturers of low carbon heating systems to scale up investment and production, incentivise installers to retrain and encourage the innovation that is necessary for current fuels to develop lower carbon alternatives.

To fully decarbonise heating, analysis within the paper recommends that the regulation form part of a whole house approach which including financial incentives for consumers who install energy efficiency measures and established low carbon heating systems.

Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Association commented on the report:”This regulatory proposal would provide long-term certainty to industry and investors and give confidence to the public that the Government’s decarbonisation targets will be met.

“Our proposal does not reduce the number of viable heating options for consumers, rather it provides the framework for low carbon fuels to develop.

“It should however be paired with financial incentives to encourage already proven low-carbon heating technologies.”