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Heat and Energy Efficiency Zoning:  A framework for net zero for new and existing buildings

Published on 5 August 2020

This paper contains policy proposals for the UK, Scottish and Welsh Government (‘the governments’) to create a national framework for decarbonising heating and deploying energy efficiency solutions.

Heat and Energy Efficiency Zoning:  A framework for net zero for new and existing buildings | ADE publications

Legislating for net zero by 2050 and the supporting work by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has jumpstarted the UK’s ambition for decarbonisation, and decarbonising our heating is part of the puzzle, with clear linkages to the decarbonisation of transport and power, too. 

This paper will explore a local approach to heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency, touching on how this will in turn enable us to decarbonise our energy grids and transport. The ADE advocates for the introduction of ‘zoning’ for heat and energy efficiency – of taking a view of local opportunities and limitations, considering the most appropriate heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency solutions for that area in consultation with local stakeholders, and ‘zoning’ a local area for active deployment of a particular solution. Zoning an area would bring with it a set of policies specifically designed to support particular solutions to come forward, through a mix of planning policies, building regulations, funding, and more. 

The Zoning Framework is based on the idea that areas that can move early, should. It explores a phased approach to implementation, that will allow those areas that may need to rely on high temperature, low carbon, evolving or innovating fuels and technologies to do so. 

It explores how this phased framework will enable a learning-by-doing approach. It explores how signposting fuels and technologies will create clear investment pipelines, bringing local growth, and certainty around investing in local skills to deliver the local pipeline. 

Crucially, it investigates a framework for consumer participation – for how we bring consumers along with us in our journey to net zero, creating clear opportunities for involvement in decision-making, allowing them to receive a clear benefit from the energy system, plan for their future, and crucially, create distributive justice across the UK.

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