About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

A policy plan for decarbonising home heating

Reducing carbon emissions from our homes is a crucial step in reaching net zero and it is essential to make significant progress on this by 2030. However, the UK’s uptake of low-carbon heating has been extremely slow, which risks both failing to meet net-zero targets and leaving the nation overly reliant on gas. The UK needs a stronger set of policies focused on replacing boilers with heat pumps and other low-carbon heating systems.

What’s in the report?

The report sets out an outline policy plan for decarbonising the UK’s home heating which Nesta plans to develop and expand on over the coming months.

This plan has four key elements:

  1. committing to phase out gas boilers in 2035 or earlier, while also providing clarity on the future role of hydrogen for home heating
  2. making low-carbon heating affordable by all, most importantly by reducing the cost of electricity relative to gas
  3. supporting a rapid increase in the number of skilled heat pump installers
  4. better planning for electrification and low-carbon heating systems.

Our recommendations

We have some key recommendations to make this plan work.

  • The UK Government and devolved governments should confirm a 2035 (or earlier) phase-out date for fossil fuel boilers while sending a clear, early signal that it expects hydrogen to play a small role in home heating.
  • The UK Government should set a cap on the electricity-to-gas price ratio, ideally so that electricity never costs more than 2.5 times more per unit than gas.
  • The UK Government should significantly increase the number of low-carbon heating subsidies available in England and Wales from the current 30,000 per year.
  • The UK Government and devolved governments should overhaul planning restrictions on heat pumps nationally and guarantee that all homes will be permitted to install low-carbon technologies by the planning system.


Andrew Sissons

Andrew Sissons

Andrew Sissons

Deputy Director, sustainable future mission

Andrew is deputy director on Nesta's mission to create a sustainable future, which focuses on decarbonisation and economic recovery.

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Madeleine Gabriel

Madeleine Gabriel

Madeleine Gabriel

Mission Director, sustainable future mission

Madeleine leads Nesta’s mission to create a sustainable future, which focuses on decarbonisation and economic recovery.

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