Neal Coady, Director of Technology, explores the role innovative in-home technology has to play in creating a low-carbon, energy-efficient and more sustainable future.
Yesterday the Government delivered its Spring Statement which announced plans to introduce a Future Homes Standard (FHS). The FHS contains an ambitious target to end the use of all fossil-fuel heating systems in new houses by 2025 and is a clear signal from Government that we need to future-proof our homes with low carbon energy technology.
Across the UK, households account for more than 14% of total greenhouse gas emissions and reducing this will be a challenge. The answer, in part, is providing the products and services people need to manage their energy needs.
At Centrica we’ve long believed that innovative in-home technology has a role to play in creating a low-carbon, energy-efficient and more sustainable future – whether that is in existing homes or in new-build properties.
Just last month we announced how we plan to expand our offer to customers to give them the power to generate and store their own energy. It’s a move that we hope will make a positive environmental impact and save people money on their bills.
We believe that solar, battery storage and heat pump technology have a key role to play in future homes, with particular cost benefits to be felt in the new build segment where there is no need to retrofit technology to an existing property. The aggregated flexibility of these assets will also enable the grid to manage the intermittent nature of renewable generation.
A good example of these technologies being used as an alternative to natural gas is in the Netherlands. Dutch legislation requires all newly built properties to be independent of the gas grid – a move that has seen a shift towards greater use of heat pumps and solar panels.
Closer to home, in Cornwall, Centrica’s Local Energy Market is introducing a combination of battery storage, combined heat and power and solar panels across both residential and business properties, in a market-leading trial that aims to unlock further renewable growth while creating exciting opportunities for people to trade and exchange surplus energy generated as part of the scheme.
Projects like this are an important step in the journey to a decarbonised future for us all. I’m excited to be part of that journey.