“It is welcome news to see that the Government has enshrined in law their target to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 following the recommendations outlined in the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) sixth carbon budget. As development in the construction sector continues to accelerate, delivering sustainable and efficient buildings will be crucial to achieving this and the later 2050 net-zero targets.
“Crucial to this development will be the decarbonisation of space heating for residential and commercial buildings. The easiest win in the short term is improving energy efficiency on both existing and new build and, for this, developers and specifiers have a variety of low carbon heating options.
“At present, the focus should be on low carbon district heating schemes using large scale heat pumps or waste heat sources or individual heat pumps for buildings. This is reflected in last year’s ten-point plan pledge to install 600,000 heat pumps annually by 2028 and the sixth carbon budget’s recommendation that heat pump sales must reach 1m by 2030, with 5.5m installed.
“With the Future Home Standard now confirmed for 2025, the onus will be on new build developers and contractors to provide low carbon heat to stand a chance of reaching this 2035 target. With lower flow temperatures conducive to large centralised heat pumps, fourth and fifth generation district heating networks represent a real solution for the new build sector to provide future-proof, sustainable heat.