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A Net Zero target for greenhouse gas emissions provides wonderful clarity. No wondering about the ‘last 20% of emissions’: it’s simple and clear. Everything – all buildings, cars, and industries – must be zero carbon in aggregate by 2050. But we currently burn a lot of natural gas to heat buildings, causing plenty of carbon emissions. And current policies push up electricity prices – deterring anyone from switching to low carbon electrical heating.

 

So how can we make the UK’s gloriously varied building stock zero carbon by 2050? Rather than bossing things from the centre, it makes sense to shape solutions that people and places actually want. And maybe we should shift the balance over time to favour low carbon choices. The value chains for energy in buildings are huge; worth £billions every year. So we need policies to drive restructuring and innovation on a grand scale in everything from building products through to smart controls and home energy apps.

 

Energy Systems Catapult have outlined six steps which can create a policy environment that stimulates markets and enables coordinated investment in energy efficient networks to deliver zero carbon buildings. 


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