Ban on fossil fuel heating in new homes from 2025
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced new standards 'mandating the end of fossil fuel heating systems in new homes from 2025 delivering lower carbon, and lower fuel bills too'.
He said, 'To help ensure energy bills are low and homes are better for the environment, the government will introduce a Future Homes Standard by 2025, so that new build homes are future proofed with low carbon heating and worldleading levels of energy efficiency.'
This follows on from the Government's advisory Climate Change Committee recommendation of ending the connection of new homes to the gas grid by 2025 in a report of 27 February, with properties heated with low-carbon energy instead.
The Climate Change Committee report concluded that 'UK homes are not fit for the future'.
You may not have time to read the full report, 'UK Housing: fit for the future?' which runs to 134 pages. The report is summarised on UK homes not fit for the future and focuses, largely, on the urgent need to install heat pumps to reduce carbon emissions dramatically.
Environmental groups have welcomed the ban on burning fossil fuels for heating, but question why we should have to wait until 2025 when the problem of climate change is already very urgent now.
Predictably, those who rely for their income on selling gas and oil or installing combustion boilers have expressed reservations.
Ban on installing fossil fuel heating in all homes from 2035
The Heat and Buildings Strategy published on 19 October 2021 announced the ban on installing any fossil fuel boiler from 2035. This is a very leisurely target for banning installation of boilers. The ban on selling petrol and diesel cars runs from 2030, and it would have been more consistent to have banned installations of burning for heating by the same date.
Future Homes Standard
On the Future Homes Standard, everyone has welcomed the move toward high levels of energy efficiency: higher levels of insulation are beneficial whatever the source of heating and lower temperature distribution systems like underfloor heating improve home comfort and lead to more efficient heating whether the source of heat is heat pumps or combustion boilers.
Future Homes Standard – Consultation
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published its consultation on changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations for new dwellings on 1 October 2019. This is a first step in setting out the Future Homes Standard for new-build dwellings. Critical to decarbonisation via electrification with heat pumps, it announces a significant reduction in the carbon factor for grid electricity, which far better reflects the rapidly decarbonising electrical generation and supply networks. The consultation sets out the plans for achieving the Future Homes Standard, including proposed options to increase the energy efficiency requirements for new homes in 2020 as a first step towards the full Future Homes Standard.
The CCC had recommended on 9 December 2020 that from 2028 no further oil burning boilers should be installed in UK homes (new or old) and that from 2033 no new gas boilers should be installed.
Grid Carbon Factors
The BEIS projections of the Grid Carbon Factor of UK electricity has fallen again for each of the years to come. BEIS published its updated report on 11 April 2019 and the falling carbon factor of grid electricity is a further reason to accelerate the move toward the electrification of heat in the UK.