Phasing out the installation of fossil fuel heating in homes off the gas grid

In October 2021, BEIS consulted on phasing out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating systems in homes off the gas grid from 2026, adopting a ‘heat pump first’ approach.

In our response, we argue that 2026 is too soon to phase out the installation of fossil fuel heating in off-gas grid homes. 2026 is almost a decade sooner than urban homes, a highly unconventional ‘high-hanging fruit’ approach which would require a relatively small number of widely differing buildings to take on all the immediate risks of an immature low-carbon heating market. These risks include high capital costs, high running costs, lack of installers and a lack of skills and knowledge, especially for older buildings, and insufficiently tested reliability, all resulting in a lack of consumer confidence.

We propose a technology-neutral approach, rather than a “heat pump first” approach, so that homeowners have the flexibility to choose the most effective low-carbon heating option for them and their property.

We also highlight the importance of changing the metric of a domestic Energy Performance Certificate from cost to carbon, as we argue that it is illogical, unfair, and unaffordable to require landlords and homeowners to install an air source heat pump in their properties if it remains very expensive to install, costs more to run and scores badly on an EPC.

Phasing out the installation of fossil fuel heating in homes off the gas grid

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