The Summer Statement from the Chancellor last week signals that the government has heard the calls of the renewable industry and, perhaps more importantly, understands the role that renewable heating, power and green measures will have in helping build Britain back up post the Covid-19 crisis.
As the country rightly focuses on helping our economy recover from the effects of this pandemic, it is also important to understand the invaluable role that renewable technologies can and will play in enabling the country to achieve the ambitious – and legally binding, carbon reduction targets.
The measures outlined by the Chancellor last week do therefore go some way to addressing both economic recovery and carbon reduction.
It’s starting to come together and we will now see heat pumps move much, much more into the mainstream
The green homes grant of £2bn, could increase the efficiency of the nation’s older homes, with households and landlord’s able to get up to £5,000 for projects to make homes more energy efficient.
Not only will this help safeguard jobs amongst existing building professions by creating demand for work, particularly amongst smaller tradespeople, it will also help improve the carbon reduction of the nation, house by house.
And this is also where we could see the creation of even more jobs if we can step up the adoption of renewable technologies such as heat pumps at the same time.
Not only would this increase the number of renewable installers or heating engineers upskilling to renewables, it could also enable more homes to benefit from the lower bills and greater comfort available with these renewable technologies.
The significant benefits of air source heat pumps are already recognised by government, with the aspirational target from the Committee for Climate Change to have a million heat pumps installed by 2030.
However, if we can get even more people to realise the individual benefits that they can get from adopting a heat pump to heat their home, then we can speed up the process and help decarbonise our economy even quicker.
I estimate that around a quarter of a million heat pumps have already been installed over the past decade, so there are real, live examples of the technology reliably working up and down the country, year in, year out.
We’ve got our own examples in new-build, old-build, large and small helping the homeowner benefit from lower running costs and wi-fi enabled smart control, with remote diagnostics available, direct from the manufacturer.
We now need to rapidly move on to a wider expansion of this highly beneficial technology for the many, many off-grid households dependent on oil, LPG and all those other dwellings, using aging gas systems elsewhere, if we are to tackle the 40% of UK carbon emissions generated by home heating.”
As the UK’s leading manufacture of heat pumps, we’re also using our expertise to help demonstrate the benefits in various trials with several major energy suppliers.
This includes the trial arranged by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), looking at Zero Carbon Homes with our partner OVO Energy in sites across the South East.
This grant scheme aims to develop technologies that reduce the carbon emissions associated with providing heat and hot water to UK buildings.
We are working with OVO Energy to figure out how we can further decarbonise heating as part of a smart, flexible energy system.
As the UK continues to ‘green’ our grid and produce primary electricity that is now much, much cleaner, these pioneering schemes will be vital in being able to clearly demonstrate the benefits.
So, for me, it is starting to come together and we will now see heat pumps move much, much more into the mainstream, which is why we as a manufacturer have invested so much in R&D and our manufacturing plant in Scotland.
And also why we will continue to work with both government and innovative partners such as OVO Energy.
Max Halliwell is communications manager for Heating and Ventilation