NIBE Energy Systems welcomes the Committee on Climate Change report today which calls on the Government to decarbonise our housing stock at the earliest opportunity. Outlining steps that can be taken to transition from fossil fuels to renewables, the report highlights that addressing carbon emissions in the housing sector is crucial. The findings within the report reflect the recently published NIBE policy paper: Heating our homes – a policy pathway to developing a viable heat pump market. With evidence and recommendations shared within both reports, NIBE hopes that the findings will pave the way for important Government decisions that will address the changes required.

The NIBE paper, published in January and shared with the Committee on Climate Change, highlighted the importance of tackling housing emissions at the earliest opportunity, starting with new builds. Today’s report reflects that in its affirmation that “by 2025 at the latest, no new homes should be connected to the gas grid.” Instead, all new homes should be future-proofed, avoiding expensive retrofits down the line and reducing emissions as a direct result.

The report firstly highlights the important role of ensuring high thermal efficiency standards of homes. To minimise the impact of our new homes, it is essential that they are built to high standards and that energy demand is reduced regardless of the heating system installed. This delivers not only carbon savings but also improved comfort and health benefits. The Committee on Climate Change note that ultra-high energy efficiency standards could help to reduce the energy demand associated with the widespread uptake of heat pumps in the UK.

The recommendations for future-proofing our new builds is mirrored in both reports, mutually acknowledging that this can be achieved by using appropriate-sized heat emitters and low-temperature compatible heating systems. In our report, we proposed that new homes should have high thermal performance, be fitted with low temperature heat emitters and space for hot water storage to ensure that low temperature heating systems could easily be installed in the future if not installed today. Analysis by the Committee on Climate Change found that this could save £1,500-£5,500 compared to later having to retrofit low-carbon heat from scratch.

Heat pumps receive rightful recognition within the Committee on Climate Change report today, found to offer the most potential carbon savings with a lifetime reduction of regulated carbon emissions greater than 90%. The report also anticipates that heat pumps will increase the value of a home as suggested in the NIBE policy paper earlier in the year.

Off the back of the report today, NIBE Energy Systems would like to thank the Committee on Climate Change for addressing the issue of our housing stock and for sharing our vision for the future of heating. With reflective viewpoints throughout, the importance of building better homes is prevalent. We hope that the recommendations set out within our policy paper and the report today will lead to improved building regulations and a long term policy framework, utilising proven heat pump technology and ensuring all our new homes are low-carbon ready within the next five years.

Phil Hurley, NIBE Energy Systems Managing Director said “Its great to see our recommendations reflected in the Committee on Climate Change’s UK Housing report. We are delighted to be acknowledged for our contribution and we look forward to continuing to work with the Committee over the coming months. With plans to build 1.5 million new UK homes by 2022, it is essential that these homes are built to be low carbon, energy efficient and climate resilient. Heat pumps will play a significant role in our energy future and this report published today sets out a series of important recommendations for Government to enable the low carbon transition.”