OFTEC have said that the ‘Government must develop a more inclusive UK heat policy which addresses the key issues of energy efficiency and fuel poverty alongside efforts to reduce carbon emissions from heating in off-grid homes’.
There’s supposedly 4 million UK households living in fuel poverty and this poverty much higher in rural areas where most off gas grid homes are located.Therefore OFTEC says UK heat policy must also tackle energy efficiency.
However the government’s main carbon reduction scheme for UK homes has been the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), but this hasn’t gone so well because its so expensive to install renewable technologies.
Recommendations to the Government
OFTEC wrote to the Secretary of State suggesting various principles to be added into the new government policy. It includes the following;
- A ‘joined-up’ approach to address carbon reduction, energy efficiency and fuel poverty, simultaneously
- Compatible solutions which are easy to install in UK homes without expensive renovation
- Affordable measures to encourage high levels of participation
- Incentivise take up of solutions through simple, low cost loans and/or a scrappage payment scheme
- Reduce bureaucracy to a minimum, encouraging buy-in from all competent installers to promote solutions
- Pragmatic, value solutions which give the best result for least cost e.g. condensing boilers, controls and insulation rather than costly renewables
OFTEC has supported the idea of a universal boiler replacement scheme to cut carbon output and improve energy efficiency. Now thanks to their research, it proves five times more effective in reducing carbon emissions than the domestic RHI scheme.
However, in the longer term, they would need to come up with a more complete solution as OFTEC believe a solution lies with the fuel instead of the appliance.
OFTEC CEO Paul Rose concludes:
“Carbon reduction is a global issue and we need to find a way to reduce the carbon footprint of our industry. Good work is going on regarding the enhanced combustion of oil, the production of higher efficiency appliances and improved user controls – but this will only take us so far. We need to look at the energy source itself.”