21st Feb 2019
Calor’s response to the Committee on Climate Change report – ‘UK housing; Fit for the future?’:
Calor Gas is concerned that the Committee on Climate Change is over-reaching its advisory role by attempting to dictate the technology British house builders and home owners should have to use in future new housing. The CCC is completely right to raise its concerns about the perceived lack of progress on reducing carbon emissions from heat, but some of its recommendations betray a lack of understanding and or vision about the low carbon solutions which could be used.
Calor does more than three quarters of its business supplying LPG to businesses and homes in the countryside which aren’t connected to the gas grid, so we are focused on bringing forward cost effective low carbon solutions to deliver the reduction in carbon emissions necessary to reach the UK’s legally binding carbon targets.
This is why we launched bioLPG onto the British market last year and we have already supplied enough bioLPG to meet the equivalent of 20% of our domestic central heating demand. We have also started to take bioLPG from a second supply source with more expected by the end of this year. It is our target to be only supplying renewable sourced energy products by 2040, so we are planning a future without the need for fossil fuels.
This is why we believe the CCC is being misguided and over-stepping its carbon emission monitoring and target setting role by straying into policy areas beyond its remit. In doing this they have completely ignored the potential role for other technologies which could deliver the same or even better carbon result at a lower cost and providing society with a choice.
Heat pumps have had a chequered history over recent years which is why house builders and home owners still favour high efficiency condensing gas boilers, which can be run on low carbon biogases like biomethane or bioLPG. Government will need to help consumers on the decarbonisation journey and today’s announcement is not conducive to this aim. By the same token the CCC’s requirement that everyone will have to cook on an electric induction hob completely ignores the fact that millions of people prefer to cook on gas and they could do this in an extremely low or even zero carbon way by using biogas.
We would also question the CCC’s suggested technology pathway when you look at the challenges of building new houses in rural areas. There is already a chronic shortage of affordable housing in rural areas and so any proposals to increase the cost of building new homes need careful scrutiny. That’s without considering the significant costs associated with insulating properties and reinforcing the rural electricity grid to make it all heat pump friendly.
It is imperative that the UK achieves urgent and drastic cuts in carbon emissions. However, there is no single solution and thankfully this is recognised by the Government if not by the CCC. Calor has already demonstrated the capability and commitment to meet the carbon challenge by delivering bioLPG at an early stage, backed by a commitment to phase out fossil fuels by 2040. Calor has been supplying gas to rural Britain for the last 84 years and plans to do the same in the long term with bioLPG.