Green Finance Institute gathers businesses for taskforce to decarbonise UK heating systems

The Green Finance Institute has gathered together representatives from a variety of businesses with experts from local authorities, policy and science sector to create a new taskforce tasked with decarbonising heating systems in the UK.

Heating and hot water for homes account for almost two-fifths of the UK’s annual energy consumption and one-fifth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

And the Zero-Carbon Heating Taskforce will conduct a review into the barriers and drivers for investment into low-carbon heating across the UK’s housing sector.

As a result, the Green Finance Institute will develop and launch new financial products to help attract investment.

And it will then advise government departments on which policy changes could increase the market for low-carbon domestic heat to help meet the national net-zero target.

The UK is currently set to miss its target of converting 12% of UK homes to renewable heat by the end of this year with industry estimates indicating a result of between 8-10%.

All members of the new Taskforce are joining the Institute’s Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB). Businesses involved include British Gas owner Centrica, E.ON, Engie and Octopus Energy. Policy experts from organisations including Defra, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and E3G are joined by finance firms such as BNP Paribas, Legal & General, Lloyds and Santander. And councils on the group include the Greater London Authority and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority also sitting in the panel.

The Green Finance Institute’s chief executive Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas called the creation of the Taskforce a “natural next step” in its work to “create financial pathways to the wide-scale adoption of retrofitting across all residential tenures.”

“Decarbonising the way we heat our buildings over the next 10 years is presently one of the largest policy and investment gaps to meeting the UK’s domestic carbon budgets,” said E3G’s programme lead for heating, cooling and energy efficiency, Pedro Guertler.

“How we finance the transition to zero-carbon heat is a key part of the challenge, and we are keen to see policy-makers emboldened – by the steps the finance sector and supply chain are taking to tackle it head-on – to be ambitious in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review and Heat & Buildings Strategy.”

The Heat and Buildings strategies highlighted by Guertler are due for publication this autumn, according to Business Secretary Alok Sharma.

They are expected to be published to coincide with the unveiling of the National Infrastructure Strategy.