Labour have just announced big plans for the future of home heating and power; they want 44% of UK homes to be powered by renewable energy rather than fossil fuels by 2030 (if they’re elected to govern). This would make the UK an international climate-change leader.
If that weren’t ambitious enough, they’ve also outlined plans to get UK greenhouse emissions down to zero by 2050. These targets would put Labour out in front of the Conservatives in terms of taking action on climate-change who have not yet pledged to achieve zero emissions.
The current Conservative government has a carbon emissions goal of an 80% cut by 2050 with proposals to phase out oil fired heating by 2025 and gas boilers by 2050, but they are yet to confirm how they intend to do this or what the alternatives heating systems are likely to be.
What Exactly Have Labour Said?
Labour went into some detail about their ambitions:
- 85% of electricity to be generated by renewable and low carbon sources by 2030
- Double onshore windfarms by 2030
- Almost tripling solar power.
These are only ‘proposals’ at the moment, but Labour are expected to officially adopt these energy targets towards the end of this year.
What Do the Experts Think About the Proposals?
The director of the UK Energy Research Centre, Jim Watson, said: “These proposals are envisaging a much more ambitious approach than current policy. With respect to renewable electricity, particularly wind, the ambitions look achievable by 2030”.
He did concede that it would be a “tall order” to meet the targets and Greenpeace commented that the target of zero emissions by 2050 was “truly transformative”.
The proposals are ambitious when you consider that a large majority of the UK use either gas or oil to heat their homes:
- 85% of homes and businesses around the UK rely on gas
- Most of the remaining 25% use oil.
Achieving these targets would only be possible following a huge turnaround in the way homeowners currently heat their homes.
What Does This Mean for Homeowners?
Nothing is changing right now, but home heating and energy generation is changing and, at some point, it’s likely you’ll be taking on one or more of the renewable alternatives. The type of renewable system you take on will depend on your current heating system and the neither the government or heating industry has made any clear statements about the future of the gas network. However, if your home heating system is due to be upgraded or replaced, it may be worth considering incorporating a renewable system to future proof your home and potentially reduce your energy bills.
Renewable energy sources are highly efficient which will help you to save money on your energy bills, have less reliance on your energy company and make your home more environmentally friendly.
By getting your heating from a renewable energy source, you could become eligible to receive government payments through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The same goes for generating electricity with solar energy through the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) but you’ll have to be quick as this scheme closes to new applications in March 2019.
What are the Renewable Energy Alternatives?
Renewable energy sources are considered environmentally friendly and non-polluting. There are many different ways that your home can generate heating, hot water or electricity from renewable sources including solar, air and even the ground.
|Renewable Energy Alternative||What it Generates|
|Solar Thermal||Hot Water|
|Air Source Heat Pumps||Heating and hot water|
|Ground Source Heat Pumps||Heating and hot water|
You can explore all of the pros, cons and costs of renewable energy sources with our collection of renewable energy guides and advice.