Heat in Buildings
DECC wants to engage with stakeholders about saving carbon, reducing heating bills and giving consumers greater control over their heating
The Department for Energy and Climate Change would like to engage with experts, academics, organisations, members of the public and other stakeholders to give us their views about proposals to improve the energy performance of heating systems.
We are looking at the requirements for boiler replacement in buildings across England, and this page will provide updated information on this work. Please show your interest by submitting comments and answers to our questions, using the Contact Us section.
Heat accounts for around 45% of our energy consumption and a third of all carbon emissions. Our boiler market is the largest in the world, worth at least £1.3 billion per annum with well over 1.2 million new boilers sold every year just in our homes. In England, 27 million homes use a boiler as the principal technology to provide heating. To keep us at the pinnacle of the global market, our policy needs to be ambitious but pragmatic, and have consumer needs as a central focus of the policy.
The long term goal is still to move towards more sustainable sources of heat, but the role for conventional systems is expected to remain significant well into the 2030s.
Our intention is to use an Open Policy Making process that brings together those inside and outside of government interested in contributing to our policy and thinking. We want help in co-designing policies to make sure that they will work in practice, and this process will ensure that different points of view and expertise are taken into account; and that challenges and opportunities are well understood before any firm proposals are made.
Our focus and current proposals
To meet our carbon targets most of the cost-effective scenarios require zero carbon emissions from heat in buildings by 2050, with an on-going role for gas heating systems into at least the 2030s. With this ongoing role it feels right to consider ways to improve performance, save carbon and reduce bills from conventional heating systems, as long as it can be cost effective.
Since setting minimum standards in 2005 advances in technology have kept our country at the forefront of the global boiler market. We would like to consider whether the time is right to raise those standards, and what are the benefits and risks if we do.
For more information, take a look at our Current Policy Direction.
Heat in Buildings - Current Policy Direction (PDF, 74.7KB, 1 page)
What we’re doing
Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation
We want to engage with stakeholders to ensure that any policy decision is based on robust and effective engagement. If we do decide to proceed with this policy, we would also wish to hold a formal and public consultation. We welcome your views on this.
We are already using a mix of consumer engagement research methods to develop an in depth understanding of the diverse views and needs of consumers in England. Details of the DECC Consumer Panel work will be outlined here in due course. This work will provide us with direct access to consumers for the purpose of testing policy proposals. The aim of this engagement will be to build an evidence base regarding consumer attitudes to the various technologies that might have a role in improving the provision we get from our heating, at an affordable price. The results from the Consumer Panel will be published online in due course.
Domestic Heat Strategy Group
On 3 November 2015, Industry representatives met for the first meeting of the Domestic Heat Strategy Group. This first meeting was chaired by Lord Bourne, and is an industry-led partnership of leading boiler manufacturers, heat trade associations, installers and heating control manufacturers. The purpose of this group is to discuss future work on heat in buildings, and seek input and advice from stakeholders and experts.
The minutes of these meetings will be published here in due course.
DECC will have multiple discussions with stakeholders over the coming months to help determine whether action is needed, and what we should do. Please check regularly for updates on the policy.
Topics of Interest
We are currently speaking to key stakeholders in the industry about the following topics to ensure our understanding is well informed. In the interest of making this process as open and transparent as possible, take a look at our Evidence Questions.
Heat in Buildings - Evidence Questions (PDF, 137KB, 2 pages)
If you have a recommendation, an idea, or a question, we would like to hear from you. Please get in touch:
3 Whitehall Place