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UK “off track” on renewable heating

UK: A leading independent UK cross-party think tank claims that the number of new homes using renewable energy, including heat pumps, for central heating has dropped this year. 

Based on new Office for National Statistics data on the energy efficiency ratings of English and Welsh homes, the Social Market Foundation (SMF) says that England is making “slow progress” on decarbonising home heating and improving homes’ energy efficiency, with the country going backwards on some measures.

“The numbers suggest that the UK’s aims of reaching net zero by 2050 are in jeopardy,” the SMF says.

The latest statistics show that 68% of new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) registrations in England are still heating with mains gas, with only 12% heating through electricity.

SMF analysis of the ONS figures also noted that the percentage of new dwellings using renewable energy, including heat pumps, for central heating has dropped from 0.2% last year to 0.17% this year. – even as the government remains short of its target of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year.

“What’s notable in this year’s release is that progress towards the decarbonisation and electrification of home heat is stalling and, in some cases, going backwards,” commented SMF researcher Niamh O Regan. 

“The percentage of new build homes using renewable heating (including heat pumps) has dropped and the change in the existing stock is barely noticeable. By 2030 the UK is supposed to have reduced its emissions by 68%, and we cannot get there without addressing our heating. Today’s figures show that we are well off track.”

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