In a recent development, the Building Engineering Services Association- BESA has gone on to urge the UK government to enable speed-up growth in the number of whole buildings retrofit projects that would be carried out during 2024.
The association goes on to believe that only an overall approach to building performance is going to unlock the total potential of the building services sector so as to cut carbon emissions, enhance energy security, as well as lessen consumers’ bills.
According to Graeme Fox, the Technical Director at BESA, there is indeed a danger that hydrogen may as well become a damaging distraction due to vested interests trying to make sure of a decarbonization picture; however, it will only go on to play a very small role in buildings long-term.
He added that all this could certainly play a critical part in industrial as well as transport sectors, but not in home heating; the infrastructure issues are too intricate and the costs happen to be too high. One needs to keep focused when it comes to full building retrofits that happen to make the best use of energy-efficient design as well as existing low-carbon heating and cooling solutions.”
It is well to be noted that BESA went on to welcome the allocation of an extra £1.5bn to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme- BUS which happens to be a part of a wider £6bn push in order to improve building energy efficiency. However, the Future Homes and Buildings Standards, which are due to come into force in 2025, should indeed be more focused on whole-building solutions.
Apart from this, the association also sought to play down the potential of hydrogen in terms of heating buildings by stating that it had limited feasibility because of a range of financial and technical challenges.
Apparently, there happened to be a surge of applications when it came to heat pump installation grants in late 2023, subsequently following the uplift in the BUS scheme to £7,500 per installation. The Association also went on to welcome a £400 million addition to the energy efficiency grant, which is all set to launch in 2025. This is intended to help households across England make wider enhancements to their homes.
An overall £1.545bn has been added to the BUS fund so as to run from 2025-2028, but BESA said this could get boosted due to some additional funding for 2024 in order to keep up the momentum when it comes to the heat pump market.
The association went on to add that more than 4,000 contractors happen to be now certified to install heat pumps, and manufacturers’ endeavours to enhance the effectiveness of the technology are giving good results, with more high-temperature models getting into the market.
As per Fox, 2024 can very well be a big year for speeding up whole building retrofits in order to drive enhanced energy performance, and consultation happens to be yet another opportunity for the government to emit some positive and supportive signals into the market.