Electrical manufacturing industry provide initial response to today’s government announcements
This is a critical time for industry in our pathway to Net Zero, we are ready to deliver the requirements for Carbon Budget 6 under the right market environment and given adequate consumer incentive.
The requirement set in 2019 for the UK to reach Net Zero by 2050 undoubtedly led to an increase in discussion and planning around Net Zero with the certainty of the end goal. The 2035 date should have a similar effect for the heat pump market. Today’s announcements and media coverage will begin the urgently needed increase in awareness of the practical impacts on homes of Net Zero and the options available to householders.
Combined with the range of funding streams and correction to electricity levies there is some potential to begin a virtuous circle of increased orders, more demand for training, more focus on complementary home upgrades, and some increase in private finance options and tailored tariffs. All these steps and others could help to reduce costs of heat pumps, but we await further details from the full documents of how this will help us meet the 6th Carbon Budget.
However, the funding as it stands is only sufficient to decarbonise a small proportion of homes and their heating systems. Furthermore, depending on the balance of technologies installed under the other funding streams, and based on the existing number of heat pump sales, there is a risk that limiting the grant to an average of 30,000 installations per year, the heat pump market may actually shrink if customers only want to purchase a heat pump if they can secure a grant.
In a report published last week, [YF1] BEAMA set out in detail the technology requirements and policy gaps for zero carbon homes. We are pleased that the absence of grants has now been rectified, but more needs to be done now to help householders on their journey to Net Zero:
- Upgrades to heating system efficiency and control – achievable for all homes with benefits today and in the future
- Improvement to home electrical infrastructure to support additional loads
- Wider rollout of thermal storage
- Investment in education, training and recruitment resources
- Pathways for consumers to help them reach trusted advice and plan for changes to their homes
Dr Howard Porter, BEAMA CEO states ‘as a member of the Net Zero Building’s Council I will ensure a full analysis of this strategy is conducted by our industry when published. This is a critical moment in the pathway to Net Zero, urgent action must be taken this year to set the trajectory for the decabronisation of UK homes. Time is not on our side. At BEAMA we are conducting a full review of the infrastructure requirements for Net Zero. This isn’t just about heat pump delivery but wider energy system infrastructure investment, and in buildings we must consider the wider package of measures that will support low carbon heat, including best practice heating controls, energy efficiency, thermal storage and system optimising. There are steps we can take today that will immediately reduce consumer energy bills and we need a market framework that allows this to happen’.