A UK safety charity has this week announced two major changes. The Gas Safety Trust…
Centrica owners of British Gas, calls on the Government to introduce a Retrofit Fund of 35 million to transition consumers from gas boilers to hybrid heating systems which use both gas and electricity to heat homes across the UK. The plan would be to initially targeting 5,000 installations by 2024. The company also backs the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation for 10 million hybrid heating systems to be deployed by 2035.
Whilst hybrid systems, which combine small capacity gas boilers with air source heat pumps, do not currently offer a zero carbon solution, they will help to achieve carbon reduction in the short term, in line with the Committee on Climate Change’s Sixth Carbon Budget and recommendation for the large-scale deployment of hybrids in buildings on the gas grid.
In the long term, hydrogen would replace the natural gas element in a hybrid heating system and enable the system to be a carbon-free option as we head towards net zero.
Centrica calls for the Retrofit Fund to run from 2022 to 2024, with the installation of 5,000 hybrid systems targeting the least energy-efficient homes on the grid and those not suitable for a pure heat pump solution. The company estimates that around 10 million UK households could be eligible for a hybrid heating system and is ready to play a significant part, through its skilled workforce of engineers, in the rollout of the technology.
Data collected from homes over two years would enable the Government to verify the potentially crucial role of hybrid heating systems in heat decarbonisation and design appropriate policy mechanisms to support their rollout, helping to optimise the solution and balance considerations of carbon reduction, cost, consumer needs and suitability of UK properties. If successful, Centrica wants hybrids to be included in clean heat subsidies from 2025 and the Government to commit to 600,000 installations by 2028.
“We want to help our customers transition to low carbon heating in a way that best suits their lifestyle and is affordable, and causes the least disruption. A range of technologies are needed for the transition, and hybrid heating systems should be considered as one of them. The introduction of a Retrofit Fund will enable us to develop the ‘Engineer of the Future’ and Government to test and learn about the significant role hybrids can play as a bridge towards stronger low carbon solutions, such as hydrogen, and in reaching net zero.”
Chris O’Shea, Group Chief Executive at Centrica
Centrica has already launched a hybrid heat pump trial in the West Midlands, targeting 75 on-grid residential properties, with the premise that it can deliver up to 80 per cent of total heat demand from the heat pump, with 20 per cent coming from efficient gas boilers.
The company wants to ensure that hybrid heating systems are installed in properties that are not suitable for pure electrification and the fund administered in a way that is in harmony with existing efforts on the Government’s rollout of heat pumps, as outlined in the Ten Point Plan.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler or insulation via the ECO Energy Grant, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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