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Here are 3 low-carbon promises from the Government’s 2020 budget.

1. Continued support to install renewable heating technologies

The Government has confirmed that the uptake of renewable technology will continue to be supported by an extension of the Domestic RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) scheme until 31st March 2022. This guarantees tariff payments to help homeowners offset the cost of installing heat pumps and solar thermal technology to provide renewable heating and hot water for their properties.

2. Support to replace fossil fuel heating

A new low carbon support scheme is set to follow the RHI from 2022-24, which promises £100m in grants for households and small businesses to install low carbon heating technology as a replacement for fossil fuel heating. The Government has also made a £270m commitment for a Green Heat Network Fund to support low carbon heat sources in heat networks.

3. Levelling the playing field for cleaner energy sources

The Government has promised to implement measures to make greener energy sources a more affordable alternative to gas produced from fossil fuels. A freeze on electricity prices, coupled with an increased tax for gas suppliers, is designed to accelerate the decarbonisation of the UK’s gas supply and support an increase in the proportion of green gas in the energy grid.

Part of the Climate Change Levy, these measures are expected to come into force from Autumn 2021, and are predicted to add an estimated £1 to the average annual household energy bill, or around 0.5% of the average household’s dual fuel bill. However, a combination of the electricity price freeze and annual price caps will minimise the risk of unexpected increases to energy bills.

What next?

There is clearly a long way to go to meet the UK’s legally binding Net Zero carbon emission targets, and the way we heat our homes has the potential to make a real and lasting contribution to this ambition. The Government’s 2020 budget contains some positive steps in the right direction, and shows a commitment to easing the path to cleaner and more sustainable home heating.

As always, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we now eagerly await the implementation of the Government’s budget promises as the first step to decarbonising home heating.

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