Cutting CO2 from homes should be the priority, says ETI

Jeff Douglas
Jeff Douglas
Eliminating carbon emissions from UK homes is more cost effective than making deeper cuts in other sectors, but the next decade will be critical in preparing for the implementation of measures that will be needed by 2025, according to a new report by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

The report, “Decarbonising heat for UK homes”, written by Jeff Douglas, strategy manager for the ETI’s smart systems and heat team, identifies two main pathways towards cutting carbon emissions from the 26 million homes needing low carbon installations by 2050 – local area schemes delivering low carbon heat through heat networks, and  individual home systems using electricity for heating.

Jeff Douglas said: “Around 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from domestic heating and eliminating CO2 from buildings is more cost effective than deeper cuts in other sectors, such as transport.

“2050 may seem a long way off, but there will be a need to install low carbon heating systems in 20,000 homes a week over a 25 year period from 2025 to meet 2050 targets – that’s the equivalent of 10 Milton Keynes each year,” he added.

“Our research indicates that consumers are generally happy with their existing heating arrangements and not presently engaged enough to change.”

The ETI recently published a report, “Targets, Technologies, Infrastructure and Investments – Preparing the UK for the Energy Transition”, which concluded that the UK can implement an affordable transition to a low carbon energy system over the next 35 years by developing, commercialising and integrating technologies and solutions that are already known, but underdeveloped.

It also warned that decisions taken in the next decade are critical in preparing for the transition and crucial decisions must be made about the design of the UK future energy system by 2025 to avoid wasting investment and ensure the 2050 targets remain achievable.

The ETI is a public/private partnership between global energy and engineering companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF, Rolls-Royce and Shell – and the UK government. Its role is to act as a conduit between academia, industry and the government to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies.