A green revolution – the decarbonisation opportunity ahead

Iain Bevan, commercial manager – heating & renewables at Daikin UK, discusses the results of the first con- sultation on the Future Homes Standard and the opportunity this creates for heating engineers


eating and powering homes in the UK accounts for 22% of all greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s no wonder decarbonising domestic heating is

high on the Government’s agenda. In 2019 the Government held consultations on

the Future Homes Standard, with the aim of making changes to Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations to help improve the energy performance of new homes in England and guide the UK towards becoming net-zero by 2050. As a stepping stone to the Future Homes

Standard, which will see an average home generate at least 75% fewer carbon emissions than one built to current energy efficiency requirements from 2025, there will be an interim uplift in Part L standards by 2022. These changes will see a 31% reduction in carbon emissions compared to the current standard and take advantage of carbon-saving technology such as renewable heating, as well ensuring an increase in fabric standards. These new measures mark a significant step in the journey to net-zero, and it is those in the heating industry that prepare for the future now that will be best placed to take advantage of the opportunity low-carbon heating presents and future-proof their businesses.

Low-carbon tech ready for use

There’s no time to waste in the transition to low carbon domestic heating, so it is important to prioritise tried and tested technology that can be rolled out straightaway at scale. Currently, there are several different heating technologies being explored as alternatives to oil and gas boilers. Heat pumps are one of those – and the most-established technology that can be immediately

Iain Bevan, commercial manager – heating &

renewables at Daikin UK

Along with additional financial incentives, such as

the Renewable Heat Incentive where homeowners can apply for monthly payments towards renewable heating costs, they can also save an average of £378 on heating bills each year compared with a gas boiler. And as demand is set to grow, it will have a huge impact on our industry.

The green jobs opportunity

and efficiently implemented across the UK. A typical air source heat pump (ASHP) will

generate 45% fewer carbon emissions compared to a gas boiler, and 59% fewer than an oil boiler – a reduction of up to 43.5 tonnes of carbon emissions over the system’s typical 15-year life span per home. The wide variety of ASHPs available also means that

there’s an option to suit every home and lifestyle. High temperature heat pumps, such as the Daikin

Altherma, deliver water temperatures of up to 70°C, making them fully compatible with older radiators that require a higher temperature flow, which means there’s no need to replace existing radiators.

Incentives for homeowners

A significant factor in scaling up the installation of renewable heating systems has been the introduction of the Green Homes Grant scheme, which offers homeowners up to £5,000 to make eco-friendly changes to their homes and £10,000 for lower income households. Over 100,000 people have applied for a GHG

voucher to fund their eco-home improvements since the scheme launched in September 2020, which shows the appetite for low-carbon heating solutions.

The Committee on Climate Change has estimated that 19 million heat pumps need to be installed by 2050 to meet the Government’s 2050 target. In 2018, around 27,000 heat pump units were sold in the UK. To effectively decarbonise the heat supply, it’s believed there will need to be over one million annual installations by the mid-2030s, accompanied by an additional 17,000 new installers. Ensuring installers are able to undertake the

training they need to consult on, install and maintain low-carbon heating solutions will be key. At Daikin we are providing free training as part of the Sustainable Home Network to help build the future workforce. The proposed changes to Part L and the upcoming

introduction of the Future Homes Standard are just the start of the transition to low carbon heating. Further consultations are underway and additional regulations will be set for existing homes and commercial buildings. We must continue to support installers with

training and help them connect with customers so they can take advantage of the opportunities arising as the UK shifts to eco-friendly heating. At the same time, bolstering your knowledge of the upcoming changes to regulations and the heating solutions available will be key in future- proofing your business – as well as the UK’s housing stock - as we move towards a greener future.

April 2021


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