Rural communities deserve a choice on how to decarbonise their homes.
Currently the UK government is taking an electrification first approach to decarbonising homes off the gas grid.
This would mean that from 2026, these homes would have to install a heat pump once their fossil fuel heating systems breaks down.
While this might be the right approach for some properties, for others it will not be and could amount to costly retrofit and installation costs.
We believe that rural communities deserve a choice in how they decarbonise their homes.
There are around two million rural homes across the UK, home to almost 10 million people.
Those living in rural areas often face unique challenges and issues when compared to the rest of the UK. These can range from increased instances of social isolation to poor-quality housing and fuel poverty.
Rural areas also have a higher proportion of ‘non-decent’ homes, many of which are older and have poor insulation, meaning they are energy inefficient. A significant number of rural properties are not connected to the gas grid and many of these older, off-grid properties are unsuitable for a lot of the energy efficiency or low-carbon heating options available to most on-grid home-owners.
Decarbonising rural homes and businesses presents a unique challenge and while one solution may work for one property, it may not work for another. It is important that the UK adopts a mixed technology approach to decarbonising rural properties, giving consumers a choice in how they decarbonise their property, choosing a solution that works best for them.
There are a number of different solutions to decarbonising rural homes and businesses, and some will be more appropriate than others.