‘Ban homegrown emissions’

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The Independent Committee on Climate Change (ICCC), has called for more drastic measures to reduce the impact UK homes have on the environment.

No room for greenhouse gas

The committee, which advises the government on climate change matters affecting the UK, has said a near complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings is needed otherwise the UK’s climate change emission targets won’t be met.

The committee says that energy use in homes, which accounts for 14% of UK emissions, has increased through 2016 and 2017. It also claims that efforts to adapt housing stock to mitigate the risks from climate change such as, flooding, water scarcity and higher temperatures, are not progressing quickly enough.

In their report “UK housing: Fit for the future?” the committee makes various recommendations to address the emissions issue.

Recommendations for existing homes

  • use heat-pump technology that are not connected to the gas distribution grid
  • develop low carbon heat networks across areas of high ‘heat density’ such as cities with an aim to supply around 1.5 million homes by 2030
  • support the development of hydrogen for heating and bio-methane supply to the gas network

Recommendations for new homes

  • ban new homes from connecting to the gas grid
  • use heat pump technology or low carbon heat networks to provide heat
  • design buildings with ‘ultra-high’ energy efficiency ratings

Government backing

The chancellor Phillip Hammond endorsed some of the thinking in the ICCC’s report in his spring statement, with plans to increase the proportion of ‘green’ gas in the gas distribution network and introduce a future homes standard by 2025.

New build homes are to be fitted with low carbon heating and be designed to have ‘world-leading’ energy efficiency.

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