Decarbonise Buildings: Towards an Enduring Policy Framework
Introduction to Net Zero Buildings
With the UK legislating a target to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions across the economy by 2050, the case for an enduring policy framework to decarbonise buildings is clear: everything – all buildings, cars, and industries – must be zero carbon in aggregate by 2050.
Progress in decarbonising buildings has been slow, but is essential to meet Net Zero. Gas dominates energy use in existing buildings and incentives to cut emissions are currently weak. The UK faces a massive task and a huge commercial opportunity, with the Committee on Climate Change estimating a £15bn pa cost by 2050 (0.4% of GDP).
Energy Systems Catapult’s Market’s, Policy and Regulation team believes an enduring policy framework is needed to drive fundamental change across multiple value chains over the next three decades.
Decarbonising Buildings: Key points
Here are six potential steps to build markets to deliver these variegated solutions by 2050:
- Step 1: Fund a new wave of place-based low carbon programmes to drive early deployment
- Step 2: Roll out Local Area Energy Planning
- Step 3: Make energy networks invest to meet net zero
- Step 4: Phase in new carbon performance requirements for all buildings
- Step 5: Reward low carbon choices through energy bills
- Step 6: Building markets for new finance products for low carbon solutions.
To achieve net zero targets, energy innovations need to be applied across the whole system, including the built environment. By following these six steps to zero carbon buildings, the UK in a strong place to reach our 2050 targets.