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Decarbonising domestic heat is one of the most cost effective ways to tackle emissions in the UK but an integrated systems approach is needed

10 July 2017

Andrew Haslett
Andrew Haslett Chief Engineer

Decarbonising domestic heat is very complex from a systems integration challenge, but it remains one of the more cost effective ways to tackle emissions in the UK, especially when compared to the cost of making deeper cuts in other sectors such as aviation and industry.

The future of heating in the UK will be different, but at the moment no one fully understands quite how different. The challenge is one of replacing natural gas based heating in its present form. But consumers are not presently engaged to change their heating systems to combat emission reductions.

The next decade is critical in preparing for any low carbon heating transition as rapid implementation is required from 2025 to build supply chain capability and capacity.

Most of the technology to deliver low carbon heating is known, it is simply underdeveloped in practice so it needs to be proven and proven at scale with large scale demonstrations and consumer engagement.

The same solution will not suit everyone and to deliver low carbon heat effectively we need to fully understand what people want from heat.

It is probably time to start seeing heat as a service people want to pay for – so setting a unit price for energy consumption is the wrong place to start from.

Enhanced heating control and information will help people value and control what they spend and the future could see people buy low carbon heating packages like they buy mobile phone packages today