The Committee on Climate Change have released their Net Zero report and the accompanying Technical Report in response to the government's request for guidance on strategies for addressing climate change.
As usual, there has been a barrage of comment from far and wide commenting on various issues within the report and, in particular, the ideas about reducing the impact of heating in buildings. The CCC acknowledges that there is no one solution for the deeply diverse UK building stock and that different methods will be required depending on the size, location, nature, occupancy and purpose of buildings. They also sensibly say that buildings should be made as efficient as possible to prevent the wastage of energy in the first place.
There is also a clear acknowledgement of the cost of implementing the suggested strategies and the need for assistance for those unable to bear extra expenditure.
Having spent more than 15 years working in the areas of sustainability and energy efficiency I would like to suggest some factors which will be key to delivering the CCC strategies:
An independent advisory service for consumers to help them understand the appropriate solutions for their individual circumstances. This service should not be manned by civil servants or local authority workers but by professional engineers capable of understanding the implications of the various aspects.
A free training programme for heating installers to help them re-skill for the new technologies likely to be required.
A radical review of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme and Energy Performance Certificates.
A sensible approach to funding.
A brokerage to allow skilled tradesmen to form relationships where mixes of measures are required.
A much improved set of Building Regulations AND a completely resourced inspection service to ensure that regulations are met and that those who do not meet standards are subject to suitable sanctions.
An acknowledgement that system design is as important as choice of device or installer.
A commitment to regular and consistent system monitoring and servicing.
I heartily congratulate the CCC on the ambition and breadth of their report and I sincerely hope that the government accept the recommendations and back up the report with resources and prompt actions.