Towards an enduring policy framework to decarbonise buildings

Published: 26 February 2020

Introduction

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 buildings and incentives to cut emissions are currently weak. The UK face 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.

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.