Why the Government needs to do more to reduce the UK's carbon footprint

Fifty heating industry leaders recently took part in a survey regarding the Government’s Heat Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050, and they returned pretty damning results: 70% felt that less than half of the UK’s domestic heating would come from renewable sources by 2050. 67% said the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the wrong programme to move homes in the UK over to renewable heat, unless it underwent some serious reforms. 98% felt that heat pumps were not a good like-for-like alternative to gas-fired boilers when being fitted in older properties, unless there were additional upgrades to insulation and heating controls. The heating industry fully supports the drive to increase the use of renewable energy, but it feels that the schemes currently being run by government are simply not working, as evidence by the low take-up figures of such schemes as the RHI. The fact that the government has announced plans to cut funding for UK household energy efficiency, could show that they are finally realising that a new way of approaching cutting carbon emissions in the UK is needed. However, in other areas of the building industry, some are saying that the Government should be doing more to more to secure the future of schemes such as the RFI and the Feed in Tariff (FiT). NAPIT, one of the leading membership scheme operators in the building services and fabric sector, are one such body calling for the FiT to continue unchanged and the RFI to have its funding secured beyond 2016. NAPIT quotes the figure that 48% of the British public are willing to pay more for renewable energy investment and efforts to tackle climate change and believe that the Government should not waste this positive attitude by failing to capitalise and show they mean business on hitting the UK’s legally binding target of 15% renewable energy by 2020. Failure by the Government to have a cohesive and achieve plan, that they fully get behind, merely places doubt about the seriousness of renewable energies in the minds of the British people. It also may make plumbers and heating installers think twice about whether the time and expense of upskilling themselves to be able to fit and advice on renewable energy products is really worth the effort for their business. More needs to be done in this area by the Government to show they really mean business on reducing the UK’s carbon footprint in a clear and decisive manner. Article by Benjamin Clarke
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