Skip to main content

Heat and Buildings Strategy 2021: What Can Homeowners Expect?

Heat and Buildings Strategy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Heat and Buildings Strategy is a significant upcoming publication which could have wide-reaching implications for homeowners across the UK.

The strategy will set out a number of decarbonisation plans to help the UK meet its net zero target. Roughly 14% of the UK’s carbon emissions comes from heating our homes, according to the Committee on Climate Change, and the strategy is expected to give clear signals to homeowners about the need to improve their energy efficiency. 

Ahead of the Heat and Buildings Strategy's expected release this month, this is what we know so far about the potential measures that could be announced.

What is the Heat and Buildings Strategy?

The Heat and Buildings Strategy will be the first of its kind in England, laying out a full-scale roadmap to tackle emissions in homes and businesses. 

It is expected to build on pledges made in the government’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, and the Energy White Paper (more on this below), and set ambitious targets to drive the push towards net zero. 

What Might it Include?

These are the pledges which are widely expected to be included:

  • A ban date for natural gas boilers: banning the sale of fossil fuels is an inexorable step towards net zero, and the government is likely to announce a cut-off date when natural gas boilers will no longer be installed in existing homes 
  • Electricity bills will be slashed: as per reports, this will be announced to help wean the country off reliance on gas for household heating, and move towards low-carbon heating systems powered by electricity
  • More information on the Clean Heat Grant: the full design of the scheme replacing the Renewable Heat Incentive next year has not yet been unveiled, nor which heating systems will be eligible 
  • Measures to ramp up heat pump installations: the government will look to build on its pledge to fit 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028, detailing a plan of how this will be achieved, and how to incentivise heat pumps for homeowners.

Heat and Buildings Strategy

The government is likely to explain how it will scale up heat pump development to fit fit 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028 (Image credit: Daikin)

Additionally, these are some possible announcements which could appear, but are less likely to do so:

  • A replacement for the Green Homes Grant: the government’s flagship green strategy was scrapped in March, despite high demand. A new policy is expected to be unveiled in the summer spending review, but a new scheme could yet be introduced in the Heat and Buildings Strategy. Bloomberg reported in March that government discussions were underway about a new long-term domestic insulation programme.
  • Hydrogen heating will be scaled out - a hydrogen neighbourhood in 2023 is the first step towards the government’s plan to green up the gas grid with hydrogen, but experts are concerned by how much the process of heating homes through hydrogen will cost. We could yet see a plan of action addressing this apprehension.

How Will it Affect Homeowners?

Once the strategy is published we’ll have a better idea of what it means for homeowners. But the strategy is very likely to impose legal commitments that homeowners will have to adhere to. 

This could be in the form of introducing low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps or biomass boilers, or retrofitting homes to make them more energy-efficient.