2050 Pathways for Domestic Heat

In 2012 the ENA Gas Futures Group commissioned Delta-ee to analyse the UK’s housing stock in a detailed way looking at how the various heating technologies currently available could be effectively deployed

This is the most comprehensive domestic heat study ever undertaken. It builds on the Redpoint work ENA published two years ago. It is a significant intervention into the debate around heat. It complements and considerably builds upon the Government's Heat Strategy published earlier this year.

The Report examines three basic scenarios: Customer choice (customers are allowed to choose their heating system based on upfront cost, running cost and physical fit); electrification and heat networks; and balanced transition.

The Report makes clear that the Balanced Transition scenario can be achieved with less government intervention (and at less cost to the customer) than Electrification & Heat Networks (E&HN), while achieving 90% carbon reduction from today to 2050:

High efficiency gas appliances (including hybrid gas boiler using air source heat pumps), have lower running costs (and in some cases upfront costs) for certain parts of the housing stock thanelectric alternatives and are easier to retrofit into existing homes with gas boilers.

A greater mix of technologies has a lower impact on the energy system – the addition of hybrid heat pumps and gas appliances to the mix reduces additional peak electricity generation demand by 50% lower than E&HN, and district heat is focused on higher density housing.

The benefits of a Balanced Transition approach are that it achieves a 90% carbon reduction from today to 2050 and it:

  • Avoids moving an additional 12 million homes completely away from gas– where the highest customer costs are imposed.

  • Allows more choice, and via high uptake of hybrid heat pumps, additional peak generation demand only grows to 24GW rather than the 48GW under E&HN.

  • Avoids decommissioning the entire residential gas network (total cost of £4bn).

  • Could reduce the additional investment in electricity distribution networks (capex & opex, discounted, over 2012–2050) by £8bn (or more if smart solutions are not rolled out).

  • Avoids pushing heat networks out as far into suburbia – 3 million fewer homes are required to switch to district heating.

2050 Pathways for Domestic Heat Report

Policy Brief

Press Brief

Read ENA's press release on the launch of the Report here.

Greg Barker's speech at the launch can be found on here.