Heat and Buildings Strategy
The Secretary of State for BEIS, has had plans to publish the Heat and Buildings Strategy alongside a statement from the Chancellor since June 2020. Publication delayed again as Treasury resists the cost of fighting climate change in spite of wildfires in Canada and flooding in Edinburgh, London, Germany, Belgium, Turkey and China.
Bold action is needed as currently less than 2% of UK homes have any form of low carbon heating and still over 1,600,000 gas boilers are being installed each year in the UK.
The share of renewable heat in the UK is almost the lowest of any country in Europe.
With the large reduction in the grid carbon factor the electrification of heat is the way to go and that means installing heat pumps.
Experience from countries like Sweden and Finland shows that once fossil-fuel heating is no longer the cheapest option, the market changes rapidly. However, the UK still imposes significant taxes and environmental levies (23%) on domestic electricity, but almost none (2%) on gas: this is the reverse of what is needed if the UK is achieve anything near 600,000 heat pump installations a year by 2028.
The opportunity for the UK to decarbonise heating is very large. Doing so will cut carbon emissions, improve air quality and people's comfort and health, and help to achieve our Net-Zero targets.
Action is needed on the Fiscal Background to UK energy prices
The Chancellor needs to readjust the Fiscal Background to energy prices if he is serious about preparing for Net Zero carbon emissions.
It will not be possible for Alok Sharma to invite the world to CoP26 in Glasgow – with a straight face – until the Fiscal Background is corrected.
Some of the worst cases of heat poverty are suffered by those who rely on direct electric heating: this is the most expensive form of heating. The Chancellor needs to reduce all the "green taxes" on domestic electricity to help those in fuel poverty. The reduction is also needed to allow consumers to choose heat pumps – and to allow the supply chain for UK heat pump installers to grow.
A carbon tax on the burning of gas is also necessary to discourage the use of combustion for heating: this will not draw anyone into heat poverty - unless the increased tax on gas (for those that use gas) is larger than the reduction in the inappropriate "green taxes" on electricity (which everyone uses).
If you believe the government should reduce taxes on electricity to allow people to install heat pumps, then please sign this Heat Pump Petition and please encourage others to do so.