SEA report outlines need to be technology agnostic

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The Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) has published a report – A Technology-Agnostic Approach to Heat and Buildings Policy – detailing how government policy can shift towards delivering the most appropriate technologies for achieving the best outcomes.

The SEA and its partners say that, although government policy support and investment is at an all-time high for the heat and buildings sector, it is crucial that the investments are targeted in such a way to deliver the best outcomes.

The report also states that creating living and working spaces fit for future generations, as is the SEA’s Vision, should be a key deliverable through government policy for heat and buildings.

It says:

The UK must transition all buildings to be fit for the future, meaning they are energy efficient, net-zero carbon, warm and healthy. All buildings are constructed, changed over time, and used differently. This means that each property will perform and operate uniquely, and the technologies and solutions for transitioning them to Net Zero will be individual. This complexity must be accounted for. A whole range of low-carbon technologies (LCT) for heating buildings, generating, controlling, flexing, and storing energy, must be used where they are most appropriate.

These LCTs should ultimately be specified to achieve the best outcomes for individual occupants, buildings and the country as a whole. And as government policy steers what specific technologies are deployed and where, the government must ensure that its policies for heat and buildings are ‘technology agnostic’. In other words, policy that ensures the most appropriate technologies for the person, building, and country are delivered for the best outcomes.

The report brings together different views to see how policy can be made more technology agnostic.

Alan Brown MP, PRASEG Chair, said:

I welcome the report and the recommendations. It is critical that there is long-term, joined-up approach to retrofit policies, backed by funding and incentives to deliver low carbon technologies and energy efficiency measures. Access to free independent advice for consumers is critical too, and the UK Government should consider this and the example of Energy Advice Scotland. It is also clear that policy costs cannot be continually added to electricity bills, and a more progressive funding model provided. I welcome the calls for the decoupling of gas and electricity prices.

Dave Sowden, interim Chief Executive of the SEA, said:

As part of our successful ongoing collaboration, this defining report provides a rich picture of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for transitioning heat and buildings. The wide range of recommendations made to the Government should help them to refine their policies and communications to deliver a holistic, technology-agnostic and outcomes-based approach. We hope that the Government and sector continue to engage in this work to help create living and working spaces fit for future generations.

To read the full report visit: sustainableenergyassociation.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Policy-Barriers-and-Solutions-for-a-Technology-Agnostic-Approach-to-Heat-and-Buildings.pdf