Future of Heat – The Future Homes Standard

Nu-Heat’s MD, David Roberts, reflects on the recent Futurebuild show and the latest developments for decarbonising our homes with the Future Homes Standard.

Attending Futurebuild in London highlighted a number of economic and environmental challenges for the built environment. However, the topic at the forefront of my mind is knowing that we have to change our approach to how we heat our homes, and move away from fossil fuels, but that we have to support this change and the people involved.

David Roberts shares his thoughts on the move from fossil fuels to a cleaner, healthier environment. Image shows David Roberts, MD of Nu-Heat, with a fresh blue and green spring countryside image behind him.

David Roberts shares his thoughts on the move from fossil fuels to a cleaner, healthier environment.

The theme of Futurebuild was ‘Time For Action’ and this is incredibly apt with the current focus on sustainability, a rise in fuel poverty and the need to ensure that our homes are safe and provide an environmentally sound and healthy future for us all.

The Clean Growth Strategy

The challenges are clear, but what is our response? International commitments have been made, and strategies drawn up, including the Clean Growth Strategy. Last month the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published their UK Housing report, proposing measures that UK Government, householders and developers need to adopt now if the UK is to meet 2050 emissions targets.

The CCC identify that the Government needs to take immediate action to improve the UK’s housing stock and help achieve long-term emissions reduction targets through enforcing standards, ensuring compliance, delivering skills, retrofitting existing homes and ensuring that new homes are low-carbon, energy efficient and climate resilient. The report recommends that no new homes should be connected to the gas grid by 2025 at the latest and I welcome this disruptive proposal. What difference would it make to our plans and our choices if ‘burning stuff’ to keep us warm actually ceased to be an option?

A platform for renewables

This disruption creates a platform for renewable heat, particularly ground and air source heat pumps. These technologies have been well developed and are now commonplace across much of the Northern Hemisphere, where temperatures can fall and rise across an extreme range, proving the effectiveness of this technology.

The CCC report suggests that installing heat pumps could increase the value of a home and also found that, for the homeowner, future-proofing new builds through installing appropriate heat emitters and low temperature compatible systems now, could save in the region of £5.5k which would be the cost of retrofitting low-carbon heat from scratch.

Heat pumps are a low temperature heat source that works best when paired with underfloor heating in a suitably insulated property. Ideal then for a new build construction. However, with planning and appropriate heating design, heat pumps with underfloor can also be retrofitted, as one of the suggested measures for upgrading our housing stock.

Spring Statement 2019

So, how do we manage the transition effectively and responsibly to this bright new future? That is the challenge. Not ‘if’ but ‘how’. Clear and actionable government policy is now required and last week, as part of the Spring Statement, Philip Hammond announced a new Future Homes Standard with the intention of cutting the energy use of new builds in half by 2030. The details of the new standard will be consulted on during 2019 and are expected to change the way we build our future homes. In response, manufacturers will need to reframe their product ranges and consider routes to market.

If all new build homes will be required to have low carbon heating from the end of 2025, with no more fossil fuel heating systems and ‘world leading’ levels of energy efficiency, then industry partnerships that accelerate the adoption of low temperature systems must be encouraged and support and training for builders and installers is key.

I welcome the proposal to introduce the Future Homes Standard but ideally I would like to see this standard adopted sooner. We also must not lose sight of the other CCC recommendations, the fact that 80% of the homes we will need in 2050 already exist, and that this legacy of carbon emissions must be tackled too.

We must be mindful

There is more work to be done, and whilst we need to consider the challenges faced by the many businesses reliant on current technology and use of fossil fuels, we must also be very mindful of how the future must look. As Futurebuild has re-emphasised, more and more individuals, organisations, and now the Government, are beginning to seriously consider the alternatives. This gives me hope for the future and confidence that we can accelerate the transformation required for us to work our way responsibly towards it.

What to expect when you meet us at a show

Visiting us at a show is a great opportunity to get face-to-face advice on the underfloor heating (UFH) and renewable options for a project.

To make the most of the journey there are a few things worth bringing along with you – a set of plans and a notepad to jot down top tips from the seminar sessions are a good idea. But, what can you expect from the Nu-Heat show stand and team?

We tend to have a team of 4-6 of our most experienced staff on our show stand. They are all knowledgeable in UFH and renewables and can help any type of customer, whether an installer, self-builder or contractor – their aim is to offer the right solution.

Nu-Heat stand

The Nu-Heat stand features example floor constructions to touch and feel, a demo heat pump, heated floor coverings and working thermostats as well as interactive tablets to further browse our information.

It’s a good idea to bring a set of project plans or working drawings as our team can make a copy and send it straight to our estimating department so that we can provide a quote within just 72 hours.

Plans, information on the insulation levels of a property and the intended heat source are extremely important – they help us to design and supply an efficient heating system that performs and we will only ever recommend one of our systems if we are certain it is right for the property.

You can also catch us in the Seminar Theatres where we give informative and educational presentations on the heating market, underfloor heating and renewables, followed by a Q&A session.

Top tips:

  • Bring a set of plans – to help us specify and quote
  • Bring a sturdy bag for all the brochures you’ll pick up
  • Take a notepad to jot down handy tips and ideas
  • Take pictures of specific products
  • Plan your day based on who you want to see
  • Join our mailing list to receive emails offering free tickets

Nu-Heat will be attending a number of shows and exhibitions this year, and you can visit us for free. Keep up to date with our upcoming events on the Nu-Heat website.

Book your free or discounted tickets here

Discover how UFH design aids interior design this Clerkenwell Design Week

Calling all architects, specifiers and interior designers

Book a meeting with one of our underfloor heating (UFH) advisors on 24th May to discuss interior design enhancing, bespoke UFH solutions for your forthcoming projects, and experience the dream combination of UFH and hardwood flooring at the Kährs Design Studio.

When: Wednesday 24th May, 9am-6pm
Where: Kährs Design Studio, 5 Albermarle Way, Clerkenwell, EC1V 4JB

Choose UFH for interior design freedom

Unlike bulky heating systems that can steal space and inhibit creativity, expert UFH design can actually increase usable living space and inspire pioneering interior design.

We know that no two projects or clients are the same, and we take pride in designing and delivering bespoke systems that meet exacting project requirements and client demands – leaving you free to concentrate on the property’s architecture and interior design. Use our expertise to confidently specify tailored, tried and tested, underfloor heating, renovation and acoustic solutions that are backed by free, lifetime, technical system support for your client.

Book a meeting

Beat the crowds by pre-arranging your meeting with a Nu-Heat UFH expert. Simply send an email to marketing@nu-heat.co.uk, providing your name, company name, and a brief outline of the project(s) you wish to discuss, as well as indicating your preferred time. We will be in touch to confirm your appointment.

Not attending Clerkenwell Design Week?

We would still be delighted to provide you with system information and project advice.

Our expertise helps you to specify bespoke underfloor heating and renewable systems for your clients with complete confidence. Call us on 01404 549770 to discuss your upcoming projects or visit www.nu-heat.co.uk/professional.

Free self build and renovation advice at autumn shows

Autumn is officially here and the annual debate about when to switch the heating on has begun, but perhaps the better question to ask is “What is the right heating solution for your property?”.

Have you considered underfloor heating?

Underfloor heating (UFH) can provide the ideal, efficient, invisible heating solution for your home, whatever the age of the property. Whether you are renovating, extending, converting or building from scratch, meet our experts at these upcoming shows for advice and guidance on how you can integrate underfloor heating and renewables into your project.

Meet our experts

Not sure what to expect when you attend one of these shows? Our blog post provides some tips on how to make the most of your visit – click here to read it. Don’t forget to bring a set of plans so that we can provide a free bespoke quote within a few days.


The Big Green Home Show, Swindon

The autumn Big Green Home Show aims to enable self-builders to create their own energy-efficient, healthy home. The show takes place at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon, on 7-9th October.

Meet our experts on stand 67, and see our retrofit UFH solutions on show on the first floor of the centre’s Renovation House. Find out whether UFH is right for your project at our free masterclass session at 12:15pm on Sunday 9th October.

When and where is the show?

Friday 7th – Sunday 9th October
National Self Build & Renovation Centre, Lydiard Fields, Great Western Way, Swindon, SN5 8UB

Click here to book your free tickets online quoting Partner16.


Grand Designs Live, Birmingham

The 12th consecutive Grand Designs Live show is being held at Birmingham NEC on 19th-23rd October. Presented by Kevin McCloud, the event offers visitors ideas and inspiration to help them develop their very own grand design.

Our experts will be on hand to discuss your project on stand B670, where you can also view our extensive range of underfloor heating and renewables solutions.

When and where is the show?

Wednesday 19th – Sunday 23rd October
NEC, North Avenue, Birmingham, B40 1NT

Buy discounted tickets quoting EXHIB.


Northern Homebuilding & Renovating Show, Harrogate

Taking place at the HIC Yorkshire conference and exhibition centre on 4th-6th November, the Northern Homebuilding & Renovating Show is the go-to exhibition for self-builders and renovators.

Nu-Heat’s expert advisors will be waiting to answer your underfloor heating questions on stand M188. You can also pop along to our free masterclass presentation at 11:30am on Saturday 5th November to find out whether UFH is right for your project.

When and where is the show?

Friday 4th – Sunday 6th November
HIC, Harrogate, Yorkshire, HG1 5LA

Book your free tickets online.


South West Homebuilding & Renovating Show, Shepton Mallet

Whatever the stage of your new build or renovation, the South West Homebuilding & Renovating Show is the perfect opportunity to help bring your project to life. The show takes place at the Bath & West Showground on 19th-20th November.

Meet our experts on stand 302, and come along to our free underfloor heating masterclass at 1:30pm on Sunday 20th November.

When and where is the show?

Saturday 19th – Sunday 20th November
Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 6QN

Book your free tickets online


Not able to get to the shows?

Contact us on 01404 549770 to discuss the best underfloor heating and renewable solutions for your project.