Regulation is needed to put the UK’s heating on the path to reach net-zero by 2050.

That’s the verdict from the Sustainable Energy Association (SEA), which has published a new report proposing a carbon intensity regulation should be implemented – this would be used to set progressively stricter limits relating to the permitted emissions per kWh of heating provided.

The SEA says such a move is needed to deliver the government’s commitment to phasing out fossil fuel heating in properties off the gas grid by the end of the next decade and decarbonise heat entirely to achieve net-zero by 2050.

It says fossil fuel-based and inefficient heating systems must be replaced with efficient, low carbon heating, with new systems always adhering to emissions intensity standards.

The report suggests the certainty provided by a long-term trajectory would send a strong signal to investors and manufacturers of low carbon heating systems to scale up investment, incentivise installers and encourage innovation.

Lesley Rudd, CEO of the SEA, said: “This regulatory proposal would provide long term certainty to industry and investors and give confidence to the public that the government’s decarbonisation targets will be met.

“Our proposal does not reduce the number of viable heating options for consumers, rather it provides the framework for low carbon fuels to develop. It should however be paired with financial incentives to encourage already proven low carbon heating technologies.”