With the General Election fast approaching and polls suggesting it will be a closely fought battle before the next government is decided, Colin Timmins of BEAMA Underfloor reviews the parties’ manifestos and what they could mean for the heating industry.
Unsurprisingly, the general topic of energy is widely covered in the manifesto pledges, with all of the main parties focusing on a need to deal with energy security, fuel poverty and rising energy bills.
However, while there are references to insulation and euphemistic terms such as ‘green products and services’ it’s disappointing that there is little recognition that existing heating technologies have a huge role to play if we are serious about reducing the 40% of UK energy used in our homes.
From our perspective, we may not have expected to see underfloor heating feature in political manifestos, but we would expect to see a comprehensive framework being outlined which could be expected to offer greater opportunities for a product such as this, which can deliver warm homes with lower energy bills, and which is suitable for use with low carbon renewable heating systems.
For example, we would have liked to see a long-term commitment for the Renewable Heat Incentive but only the Green Party and the Scottish National Party have this in their plans.
While those in the heating industry may feel overlooked, it’s important we use the opportunity following the election to highlight to the next government that a comprehensive strategy for heating could produce the best path for delivering comfortable, energy efficient homes without people having to worry if they can afford to keep warm.
While we appreciate that greater detail on these issues will come when a new government is in place, BEAMA’S independent campaign, Ask for Underfloor hopes that, as an industry, we finally get recognition that low energy homes need more than insulation; they also need well controlled, low temperate heating systems.
Ultimately, the next government needs to understand how important the UK heating industry will be in helping to achieve many of its aims. It needs to be ready to listen so that together we can build and provide effective policies that actually deliver the changes that are so desperately needed.
For more information about the Ask for Underfloor campaign, visit www.askforunderfloor.org.uk.
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