Association calls for carbon intensity standard

The Government is being encouraged to introduce a carbon intensity standard to help decarbonise heat in the UK.

The Sustainable Energy Association has produced a new report, Off Grid, Off Carbon: Regulating the Decarbonisation of Heat in homes off the gas grid. It outlines the benefits of introducing a carbon intensity standard for heating within the Buildings Strategy.

Shaped by the input of wider stakeholders within the energy industry, the paper calls on the Government to announce plans to consult on the introduction of a carbon intensity standard for heating within the aforementioned Buildings Strategy. A carbon intensity standard would be administered at the industry level though encouraged through a range of enablers to facilitate its introduction, such as the rebalancing of fuel duties, customer incentives and a robust enforcement framework. Together, these would complement energy efficiency improvements and encourage greater uptake of insulation and low-carbon heating systems in a way that guarantees the decarbonisation of heat while maintaining consumer choice. This ‘whole house’ approach would be key to ensuring that the proposed regulatory framework decarbonises homes that are not connected to the gas grid. The regulation has been designed to only apply to heating systems at the point of replacement to minimise disruption.

Jade Lewis, chief executive of the SEA said the report is an example of how collaboration can help tackle “some of the greatest challenges ahead of us” of which the decarbonisation of heat is certainly one.

“At a time of great uncertainty, it is paramount that regulation is introduced to provide confidence and stability so that investors and manufacturers of low carbon heating systems can scale up investment and production, encourage innovation, and upskill the workforce.

“The input into this report has highlighted consensus on the urgent need for regulation to decarbonise domestic heat, and the SEA is hopeful that the proposals put forward will influence Government plans to decarbonise the UK’s building stock and ensure that homes are fit for the generations to come.”

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