There are many potential routes to Greener homes and buildings

There are many potential routes to Greener homes and buildings

ENERGY EFFICIENCY measures play a vital part in greener homes and buildings. They will reduce underlying energy demand and are a prerequisite for installing some of these heating solutions such as heat pumps. Potential efficiency measures are detailed later in this report in the appendix.

HEAT PUMPS are an established technology that can immediately and substantially reduce emissions from heating your home. A heat pump uses the heat in the air or the ground as the main source of energy and requires electricity to operate. Some systems have high temperatures, although the current standard is to install low temperature systems. For every unit of electricity that is put in, the technology has the potential to produce 3 to 4 units of heat, depending on the type of heat pump and the external air temperature meaning they are more than 100% efficient. Heat pumps have been mass-deployed in other countries, including the Nordics and can deliver consistent comfort through cold winters.


HYDROGEN BOILERS can replace conventional gas boilers on a like-for-like basis, with hydrogen-ready boilers being developed by leading UK boiler manufacturers in the UK, and have lower requirements on space and thermal efficiency compared to heat pumps. They produce no carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide with water vapour being the main by-product. Hydrogen is not currently available for domestic users. A decision is expected to be made by Government in 2026, following the ongoing work on trials and pilot projects to test the feasibility and safety of the conversion. Sufficient supply of hydrogen is also a prerequisite for the use in building heating and other end uses. 

HYBRID HEAT PUMP systems combine a boiler and a heat pump to meet a building's heating and hot water requirements. They are likely to be important for properties where space is a constraint and are particularly suitable for low efficiency properties that are off the gas grid. They can also help transition homes on the gas grid and in some cases off-gas grid, particularly in rural areas.

BIOMETHANE is a green gas chemically identical to methane that can be injected into the gas grid and deliver immediate carbon emission savings, without the requirement from consumers to change existing appliances.

A DISTRICT HEAT NETWORK is a distribution system of insulated pipes that takes heat from a central source and delivers it to a number of domestic or non-domestic buildings. The heat source might be a facility that provides a dedicated supply to the heat network, such as a combined heat and power plant; or heat recovered from industry infrastructure, canals and rivers, or energy from waste plants.