12 things homes need for achievable net zero

BEAMA has launched its Future Ready Homes paper setting out 12 practical actions that need to be at the centre of Government strategies for carbon-neutral homes.

The paper looks at how homes can be made ready for low-carbon heating, electrification and grid flexibility. The focus is on things that are practical to deliver, that utilise existing technology, and that in most instances provide immediate benefits to occupants.

“Obviously the UK has to get significant infrastructure in place and insulate homes on a large scale,” said Colin Timmins, Director of Member Services at BEAMA, “but there are a number of technologies and approaches that are equally necessary but easily forgotten. The actions we are setting out will mean that homes and consumers are ready to take full advantage of the future net zero infrastructure, but these actions need to begin now.”

Future Ready Homes has been produced through discussions with manufacturers and suppliers of enabling technologies for the decarbonisation future, who recognise that the importance of such technologies is often neglected.

BEAMA hopes that this paper can help policy makers and others to consider actions that may not be immediately obvious but that are nonetheless vitally important to meet the UK’s 2050 net zero target.

The paper can be downloaded here.

The 12 actions are:

  • Best practice heating controls
  • Heat emitters upgraded for low temperature operation
  • Correctly designed heating systems
  • A rethink of hot water provision
  • Mandatory electrical safety inspections
  • Three phase rather than single phase electrical supply
  • Consumer units upgraded to a ‘Domestic Energy Centre’
  • Accelerated heat pump installations in suitable homes
  • More homes with broadband WiFi
  • SMETS 2 meters plus in-home displays fully rolled out
  • In-home or local energy storage capability
  • EV charging as a natural part of the home system

BEAMA is joining up with elemental to run a three-day series of events about future-proofing our buildings, which kicks off on 1st December.

Day one (Tuesday, 1 December) will focus on future home technologies. While this might conjure up a picture of sensor-driven technologies that control devices and monitor energy use, even with mass uptake they will only make a small contribution to achieving the target of net zero carbon by 2050. Much more fundamental changes will be need to our housing stock, involving complete decarbonisation – removing our reliance on natural gas-fired boilers in favour of heat pumps, electric heating, district heat networks, and gas grid alternatives such as biogas and hydrogen.

Day two (Wednesday 2 December) will concentrate on skills for decarbonising heat. This session will reinforce the importance of acquiring knowledge and developing the relevant skills to ensure that products are installed to a standard that guarantees the comfortable, consistent temperatures that the householder expects, now and in the future.

The decarbonisation of heat will likely be achieved with a variety of solutions, from heat pumps to district heat networks and biogas or hydrogen boilers. However, the specification and installation process for these new heating technologies should be similar to that for the traditional heat generators that they are replacing, considering heat loss calculations, system design, selection of appropriate heat emitters etc. It’s vital, therefore, that the industry has the skills needed to understand and ensure the efficient operation of these technologies.

Day three (Thursday 3 December) will consider healthy buildings. Good ventilation and air quality, a comfortable temperature are all components of a ‘healthy’ building. BEAMA is an advocate of greater awareness of the impact of poor indoor air quality in UK homes, and actively campaigns to improve ventilation across the country, working with consumers, policymakers and industry.

For more info and free tickets visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/elemental-talks-in-association-with-beama-day-1-future-home-technologies-tickets-128625260617?aff=erelpanelorg

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