One thing we have learnt this week – banning gas boilers

DSC_1715Banning gas boilers and gas cookers from 2025 is the suggestion UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has just made.  It has suggested using low carbon energy sources instead and not even connecting he houses to the gas grid.   Banning gas boilers is perfectly feasible in new build since we know we can build houses that require no heating whatsoever.  There are a number of potential problems.  The first is that building such houses is very expensive at the moment.  Having said the housebuilders are making plenty of profit and only by actually getting on with it will prices of such buildings fall.  The second issue is that if the developer does decide to put renewable energy in (which is probably cheaper than a passive house) then technologies such as heat pumps could overload the local grid and the distribution network and require grid reinforcement.  Certainly the CCC seem to be going for the second option which also needs the builders to improve their quality of build otherwise such houses will be cold.  This is another of the CCC’s recommendations, improve training for builders.

The CCC make some other interesting recommendations.  Houses should be climate ready, flood ready, have provision for cycling, walking and electric vehicles and the houses should use wood in their construction.  This latter point is to add lower carbon construction and to sequester carbon for the long term.

The big problem that the CCC only address in passing is what to do about existing housing.  They state correctly that its not pit for purpose.  But as this blog has suggested before renewable heat is very difficult and expensive to retrofit and making homes fit for such technology is expensive and difficult.

Neil

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