Biomass heat industry leaders recommend UK decarbonisation pledges

Biomass heat industry leaders, including the Wood Heat Association (WHA) and UK Pellet Council (UKPC), are urging UK political parties to recognise the importance of having strong heat decarbonisation policies in their election manifestoes.

The organisations, which coordinate the Biomass Heat Works! campaign, outlined a series of manifesto pledges for the UK political parties ahead of the general election vote on 12 December 2019.

According to the groups, heat accounts for more than a third of UK greenhouse gas emissions. The Biomass Heat Works! campaign believes that the installation of biomass heat boilers has been “fundamental” in efforts to decarbonise the heat sector. However, the association believes the UK is facing a “dearth” of renewable heat policy with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) set to close in 2021, stating: “This is already impacting the industry with deployment slowing, jobs under threat and skills being lost, all of which is undermining the UK’s ability to realise net zero emissions by 2050.”

The UK Pellet Council and Wood Heat Association have outlined the following pledges, urging political parties to prioritise them in the election:

  1. Provide an immediate, time-limited extension to the RHI to keep the industry going.

  2. Implement a “more effective” taxation system that incentivises the use of biomass heating systems and fuels, while penalising dirtiest fuels by increasing fuel duties.

  3. Introduce a heat premium feed-in scheme that rewards low carbon heat users across domestic, non-domestic and industrial contexts.

  4. Provide variable tax benefits to those who live or own properties with high energy efficiency standards and renewable heating installed – including rebates on income tax or council tax, or discounting stamp duties at the point of sale.

  5. Amend the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme to focus on carbon emission reductions, rather than just energy savings.

  6. Provide UK Government-backed low-interest loans for commercial heating schemes.

  7. Address barriers to the deployment of district heating, prioritising those fuelled by renewable sources such as biomass CHP.

  8. Support biomass boilers as a key technology for use in the Future Homes Standard.

For more information, visit the Biomass Heat Works! website.

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