From 2025, new home builders will not be able to install gas central heating due to a new government mandate to tackle fossil fuel emissions.
Climate change ‘crisis’
15% of the UK’s planet-warming gases come from heating our homes. And gas is currently the primary source of heating in around 85% of our homes.
Efforts to adapt the UK’s housing to the impact of the changing climate are lagging far behind what we need to keep us safe and comfortable. Around 4.5 million homes overheat, even in cool summers.
An independent Committee on Climate Change is taking action as part of efforts to ensure the UK can meet its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
MP Philip Hammond said the new standards are:
“…mandating the end of fossil fuel heating systems in new homes from 2025 delivering lower carbon, and lower fuel bills too”
Carbon emissions on the rise
The committee was dismayed that emissions from housing suddenly increased in 2018 when they should be reducing.
The housing emissions mainly came from heating boilers.
All UK homes affected in the future
The committee recommended the changes to new homes at first as it’s more economical to install gas alternatives in a new home than replace a gas central heating system in an existing home.
However, according to the committee, all homes in the future will have to eliminate emissions by switching to fossil fuel alternatives. Otherwise, they say, the UK will not be able to meet its greenhouse gas emission targets.
“This generation of home-owners is cheating its children by leaving homes which are completely inadequate for an age of climate change.”Professor Julia King, Committee on Climate Change
“They’re too cold in winter and increasingly, as the climate continues to warm, they are going to become too hot in the summer.”
How can we heat our homes and stay green?
The carbon footprint of electric-based heating is more favourable than other methods that rely on fossil fuels. There has been a huge increase in the installation of wind and solar farms, leading to greener energy in the UK. In fact, the average CO2 from the UK’s electricity grid has halved in six years.
Electric heating is clean and respectful to the environment. It does not emit polluting gases or use heavy metals.
With electric heating systems being much cheaper and faster to install, there will be a strong move towards electric heating in new homes.
Effective insulation is essential
A home’s heating is only as good as its insulation. Without the right insulation, the heat from even the most efficient heating system will escape.
Loft insulation is cheap and simple to install – and like electric heating – it will pay for itself through lower energy bills.
We all want to live in a more sustainable, greener home. We all want to take some action to tackle climate change. That means heating our rooms and water using an energy source with low carbon emissions, like electricity.