A new report from the CBI and University of Birmingham has called on the government to mandate that all new domestic boiler installations must be part of a hybrid system or be ‘hydrogen-ready’ after 2025.

The report, Net-zero: The Road to Low-Carbon Heat, set out a number of recommendations for government, including the establishment of an independent, time-limited, impartial body that will work with government on creating, coordinating and delivering an overarching National Delivery Body (NDB). The NDB will be expected to be locally formulated and locally delivered by local authorities who will synergise their own local and energy plan with the national programme.

Other key recommendations included in the report are:

  • Government should mandate the phased switch over from existing natural gas boilers to other solutions like heat pumps and hydrogen technologies, including heat networks. As a result, by 2035 all new heating installations will need to be low-carbon, to help ensure that we are on track to meet net-zero emissions by 2050
  • From 2023 no new domestic oil-fired boilers should be installed. Biomass or LPG boilers are just some of the alternatives, alongside heat pumps
  • Government should mandate that after 2025 all new domestic boiler installations must be part of a hybrid system or be ‘hydrogen-ready’. By 2035 no new natural gas burning boilers or systems should be installed and only net-zero compatible technologies like air source or ground source heat pumps, hydrogen burning boilers, or heat networks should be deployed
  • Increase the funding available for heat networks and align with approaches to using waste and industrial heat. All new energy from waste plants and waste heat producing industries should be required to use waste heat to feed into heat networks where the location permits
  • A consumer information portal should be introduced to help individuals and businesses to learn more about the low-carbon heating solutions available to them. The solutions will be based on the consumer/business building type and energy infrastructure in their area.

Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, CBI President, and Heat Commission Chair Lord Karan Bilimoria, said: “A green recovery and progress towards the UK’s net-zero emission target are doomed to fail if we don’t address the urgent need to decarbonise heat in our homes and buildings.

“Recent government announcements will undoubtedly fast-forward our transition towards net-zero. The Commission’s recommendations offer a roadmap to accelerate progress, ensure our nation stays on a path to sustainable recovery and ensures the UK remains a global leader in meeting climate commitments.

“Aside from the moral imperative, there’s also a strong economic case for protecting our planet. Large scale heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency would provide a huge jobs boost for the economy at a time when new career opportunities are needed more than ever.”

The full report is available to read here.