Local authorities should be handed the power to lead heat decarbonisation, according to the latest report from Regen.
Bigger involvement from local leadership will be crucial to ensuring that all regions in the UK manage to reduce fossil fuel dependency for heat, helping to lower bills and cut carbon emissions.
With surging gas prices it is now £220 cheaper per year to run a heat pump than a gas boiler.
The report also highlighted that the Green Home Grants – the government’s now-shuttered support scheme for energy efficiency measures including heat pumps – unevenly funded households across the country, “perpetuating a postcode lottery” where poorer areas were not benefiting from decarbonised heat.
The report provided six recommendations for the government to give local authorities the necessary leadership role to develop local heat infrastructure, which could be divided into two broad roles.
The first of these roles would give a local authorities a bigger say in the development of local energy and heat infrastructure, allowing them to better target and distribute funding, allowing them to identify zones where the most support is needed, or where a higher involvement in Ofgem’s Energy Network Price Control is needed.
While the second key role would focus on developing a local market for retrofitting and heat decarbonisation, by supporting early adopters and skills development of the workforce.
Poppy Maltby, head of cities and regions at Regen, said: “What local authorities need is much clearer and more comprehensive support and guidance from central government that gives them a voice in the development of local heat infrastructure and a role in kickstarting the local retrofit market and supply chain – helping to prepare their area for the heat transition.”
The UK government has set a target of 600,000 heat pumps installed per year by 2028.