HETAS responds to Heat Commission policy

Bruce Allen, CEO of HETAS and Woodsure, responds to the Heat Commission policy, convened by the CBI and University of Birmingham, with input from leading industry figures, calling the Government to develop a National Delivery Body (NDB) to lead the development and implementation of a national heat decarbonisation strategy.

Hetas is very pleased to see the CBI working in association with the University of Birmingham on such an important set of issues. We recognise that we are part of an industry which must assist in convincing consumers and businesses that high carbon fuels are a thing of the past, and that we must move to newer technologies utilising low and zero carbon fuels and systems. The report ‘Net Zero – The Road to Low Carbon Heat’ deals with both environmental and economic challenges and is very useful in bringing together critical thinking.

An extract says “Heat is the UK’s largest source of carbon emissions” and further “Decarbonising heat is one the most significant challenges in reaching net zero emissions by 2050, so it is vital business, government, regulators and communities work together to shape the policies and delivery mechanisms that will be needed”.

For Hetas and wholly owned subsidiary Woodsure, both not-for-profit certification organisations, we aspire to help our sector play its part, moving away from high carbon fuels and the appliances that burn them, moving towards modern, highly efficient and low emissions appliances which are highly engineered, more efficient and environmentally responsible in their use and in the fuels that they burn.

The scientific study we commissioned and published earlier this year demonstrated that modern stoves, boilers and plant can burn dry, good quality fuels in ways that could never be achieved in the days of burning high carbon coal in low efficiency open fires (20-30% efficient). Whilst this is good news for the future of wood-burning and biomass, the findings of the study also demonstrate that it is incredibly difficult to take air samples and accurately determine the source of many similar particulate emissions. Hetas is encouraged that modern appliances and clean dry fuels, such as dry legally sourced wood, are better for our environment in a number of ways. Good quality dry wood and biomass fuels are low carbon and cleaner in use as well as forming part of a sustainable resource as long as replanting continues as expected.

We agree that this is a matter for all of us and reports such as this one from the CBI help to raise awareness of the environmental issues and set out the economic perspectives. This makes them very welcome and very useful but the real challenge is for government and business to take action and remove the choice of the highest carbon fuels from use.

Find out more about the Heat Commission policy here.