The strategy sets out the vision for a greener future, which creates hundreds of thousands of green, skilled jobs, drives the levelling up agenda and generates opportunities for the growth of British businesses.
The transition to high-efficiency low-carbon buildings can and must take account of individual, local and regional circumstances.
Interventions need to be tailored to the people and markets they serve.
The strategy outlines a transition that focuses on reducing bills and improving comfort through energy efficiency, and building the markets required to transition to low-carbon heat and reducing costs, while testing the viability of hydrogen for heating.
This will provide a huge opportunity for levelling up – supporting 240,000 skilled, green jobs by 2035, concentrated on areas of the UK where investment is needed most.
To meet Net Zero virtually all heat in buildings will need to be decarbonised.
The benefits of more efficient, low-carbon buildings for consumers are clear: smarter, better performing buildings, reduced energy bills and healthier, more comfortable environments.
Additionally, studies indicate that more energy efficient properties typically have a higher value than less efficient ones.
Evidence from a study commissioned by BEIS indicated that properties with an EPC C rating were worth around 5% more than those currently at EPC D rating, after controlling for other factors such as property size and archetype.
The 2020s will be key to delivering a step change in reducing emissions from buildings and establishing the foundations of a pathway to Net Zero.
This means improving the efficiency and flexibility of our buildings, and developing the UK supply chains and technology options needed to save carbon throughout the decade and put us on a cost- effective pathway to Net Zero.
The buildings transition presents huge opportunities for jobs, growth and levelling up.
Decarbonising buildings can provide a major economic stimulus, creating new highly-skilled jobs, products, markets, and supply chains in the UK, fit for a Net Zero future.
As building improvements are labour-intensive, upgrading our homes and workplaces could rapidly create new opportunities and support over 240,000 low-carbon jobs by 2035 across the sector (from manufacture to installation and modelling to project management) as part of a green recovery, while also reducing energy bills and delivering better, greener, and healthier homes and workplaces.
As the global market for low-carbon heat, smart products, and energy efficiency grows, UK businesses can make use of export opportunities in sectors where we have developed particular knowledge, experience and expertise.
We are working to ensure that these opportunities are available across the UK, especially where they can help level up certain areas.
Fairness and affordability are at the heart of our approach.
Investing in energy efficiency will bring down bills for millions of households and businesses – with Government support for low income households to pay for improvements.
Meanwhile we are acting to reduce the costs of low-carbon heat – with the ambition of working with industry to reduce the costs of heat pumps by at least 25-50% by 2025 and towards parity with boilers by 2030, and supporting consumers who switch early with £5,000 Boiler Upgrade Scheme grants.
Alongside action to remove distortions in energy prices, heat pumps should be no more expensive to buy and run than existing boilers and we are investing in innovation to make them smaller, easier to install and beautiful in design.
Gradually, but completely, moving away from burning fossil fuels for heating.
This is why we are setting the ambition of phasing out the installation of new natural gas boilers from 2035.
The future is likely to see a mix of low-carbon technologies used for heating: electrification of heat for buildings using hydronic (air-to-water or ground-to- water) heat pumps, heat networks and potentially switching the natural gas in the grid to low-carbon hydrogen.
While there is work to be done to identify the best solutions for different buildings and regions, there are also areas where the solution is clear and we can take decisive, ‘no-regrets’ action now.
No – or low-regrets means actions that are cost-effective now and will continue to prove beneficial in future.
For example, installing energy efficiency measures reduces consumer bills now, while making buildings warmer and comfier, but has the added benefit of making future installations of low-carbon heating more cost-effective.
For example, hydronic heat pumps will be a key technology for new buildings and buildings not connected to the gas grid (off-gas-grid), and heat networks will be a key technology in areas of high- density heat demand and where there are large low-carbon heat sources. Consultations published alongside this strategy propose how regulations can encourage the transition in these segments.
You can read the full report HERE.