The Heat & Buildings Strategy sets out how the UK will decarbonise its buildings, including homes, commercial, industrial and public sector buildings, to reach the Government Net Zero targets by 2050.
The government’s long term plan is to significantly cut carbon emissions from the UK’s 30 million homes and workplaces in a simple, low-cost and green way whilst ensuring this remains affordable and fair for households across the country.
In the Government announcement, the transition will be a gradual and will start by incentivizing consumers and driving down costs.
With approximately 30 million buildings in the UK contributing almost a quarter of all UK emissions, the issue needs to be addressed not only reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions, but also to save money on energy bills and improve lives. However the GGF feels the Government’s new strategy hasn’t gone far enough in relation to insulating buildings and in particular in regard to glazing.
John Agnew, GGF Group Managing Director commented, “From reading the Heat and Buildings Strategy, it seems skewed towards fuel supply and consumption and not on preserving or saving heat. Insulation should be top priority. It’s estimated that there’s over one hundred million windows in the UK that need replaced, this includes pre-2002 double glazing and old single glazing which is not fit for purpose. Up to twenty four per cent of heat energy can escape from a building through poor inefficient glazing. These are issues Government needs to address to achieve its net zero targets.”
The Heat and Buildings Strategy has focused on the drive to convert consumers to heat pumps and hydrogen boilers instead of gas powered boilers. In the Government announcement the aim is to install 600,000 homes with heat pumps each year until 2028.
John Agnew added, “The jury is still very much out on the heat pump solution with mixed reports in the media on how efficient and cost effective they are. It is clear heat pumps need a well-insulated building to achieve optimum performance and one of the main problems with the UK’s building stock is that it is poorly insulated. We will continue engagement with Government on energy efficient and present the case for glazing to be central in all future Government energy efficient initiatives to reduce carbon emissions.”
The GGF is aiming to launch its commissioned independent report on glazing and its contribution to net zero in December 2021.