Proposals to be revealed at heat and energy saving consultation

More than 7m homes are expected to benefit from government plans to cut carbon emissions from UK households.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is set to reveal plans for the UK’s long-term heat and energy saving strategy. Energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband will reveal the proposals in a consultation this Thursday.

Although the government has already released information on how future homes will be built within its zero carbon homes consultation, this latest package will focus upon existing housing stock.

The latest consultation is expected to discuss plans for a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, designed to encourage home owners to install renewable technologies such as biomass boilers, which can cost up to £10 000.

Under the RHI scheme, those who switched to renewable heating technologies such as air and ground source heat pumps, solar thermal and biomass boilers would receive an upfront contribution towards installation costs along with regular payments throughout the lifetime of the technology, in accordance with the amount of heat generated per kWh.

Community-focussed technology is also set to feature prominently within the consultation. The package is expected to examine the logistics of wide-scale district heating schemes, where a centralised boiler or Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant generates heat for a number of buildings, which is then distributed through hot water through a network of pipes.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the housing sector account for 27% of the UK's carbon footprint.

Around 70% of the houses standing today will still be in use in 2050, by which time the government intends to have reduced housing stock emissions by 80%.