This report considers how we should heat our homes in the future if we are to meet the UK’s carbon targets in an affordable manner. The UK has set ambitious goals under the Climate Change Act to achieve an 80% reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. Significant progress has already being made to decarbonise electricity generation, with total power sector emissions having halved since 1990 as a result of the shift from coal to gas generation and the growth in renewables.
The UK faces far greater challenges in decarbonising the way we heat our homes and other buildings. A total of £32 billion a year is spent in the UK heating homes and other buildings, accounting for nearly half of all energy consumed and one third of total greenhouse gas emissions. However despite its significance, heat remains the “Cinderella” of energy and climate policy, having been largely overlooked in favour of the other main energy sectors: power and transport.