Green Finance Institute launches the Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce

by | Sep 16, 2020

Action group will develop a portfolio of innovative financial solutions that unlock investment

Heating and hot water in our buildings accounts for almost 40 percent of the UK’s energy consumption and 20 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. To meet the UK Government’s legally binding net-zero 2050 targets, a near complete decarbonisation of our heating systems is required.

Launched by the Green Finance Institute as part of its Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB), the Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce convenes a focused group of CEEB members from financial services, local and national government, the energy and construction industries, academia and civil society, together with experts from the heating sector, to design, launch and scale the financing mechanisms needed to enable the rapid adoption of zero-carbon heating technologies in individual buildings and across entire districts of the UK.

The Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce will conduct a focussed review to identify the barriers and enablers to investment into low-carbon heating across the UK housing market – including for on and off gas grid homes, new builds and district heating networks – and leverage these findings to co-design and launch a series of new financial products and non-financial enablers to help channel investment into the sector.

It follows the same action-focussed strategy as the CEEB, which launched in December 2019 and has since established the case for retrofitting buildings to high energy efficiency standards, analysed the current investment barriers to take-up, and used its combined knowledge of the finance and building sectors to generate a portfolio of 21 financial demonstration projects that are commercial, scalable and mobilise capital flows towards the retrofit of UK homes to improved energy performance standards; the first of these will launch later this month. The Taskforce is supported by transformational policy advisors, E3G.

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, chief executive, Green Finance Institute, says: “Focussing on the heating and hot water in our homes is a natural next step for the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings, which is working to create financial pathways to the widescale adoption of retrofitting across all residential tenures. We are delighted to convene this group of experts to move quickly to launch financial products and mechanisms enabling every home to access zero-carbon heating.”

“To decarbonise the UK’s heating, it needs to be more attractive to invest in low carbon heating, including city-scale heat networks, than in fossil gas boilers and fossil gas networks. To achieve this, we need to reform the signals to investors and ensure policy incentivises investment in a low cost, low carbon, high comfort offer to consumers. The ADE is delighted, therefore, to be taking part in the Green Finance Institute’s Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce, which will make a meaningful contribution to shaping the low carbon investment landscape,” adds Charlotte Owen, policy manager, The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).


Media contact: Rosie Cade,

Members of the Zero-Carbon Heating Taskforce include individuals from:

Abundance Investment
The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE)
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
BNP Paribas
Bristol City Leap
British Property Federation (BPF)
Building Societies Association (BSA)
Cheshire East Council
Clarion Housing
Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS)
Energy Harmonics
Energy Saving Trust
Energy Systems Catapult
Enfield Council
Greater London Authority (GLA)
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA)
Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Islington Council
Heat Pump Federation
Leeds City Council
Legal & General
Lloyds Banking Group
Lux Nova Partners
National Centre for the Decarbonisation of Heating (NCDH)
Octopus Energy
ReFLEX Orkney
Scottish Government
Solo Energy
The Kensa Group
UK Finance
Vital Energi
Welsh Government/ Llywodraeth Cymru
Worcester Bosch

Additional Quotes

“As a vital part of the net zero journey, we have no choice but to make the decarbonisation of heat a success. As the forward capital requirement into the sector reaches unprecedented levels, investors are looking to understand in detail the uncertainties and opportunities of the net zero transition. Baringa is proud to bring over 20 years of experience working across the energy value chain to accelerate and deliver the net zero transition.” Rebecca Teasdale, energy and heat expert, Baringa Partners.

“BEAMA fully supports the formation and aims of the Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce. The role of private finance will be vital for the delivery of heat carbon heating solutions available from BEAMA members into UK homes and businesses. I look forward to working as part of the coalition.” Dr Howard Porter, chief executive officer, BEAMA.

“The built environment has a critical role to play in protecting the planet, a responsibility recognised by our industry’s leaders and increasingly by the shareholders and investors they answer to. As we look ahead to 2050 and becoming a net-zero-carbon sector, partnership is going to be vital and the BPF will be working hand-in-hand with the Green Finance Institute’s Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings to develop finance-based solutions that will underpin the housing sector’s decarbonisation.” Alex Green, assistant director (development & sustainability), British Property Federation.

“As the largest social landlord in the country, we are pleased to support the Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce. Clarion recognise that finding effective financial solutions to the challenge of zero carbon heating is a key part of building future affordable homes and helping our residents to live affordably and sustainably.” Will Ray, head of sustainability, Clarion Housing Group

“Decarbonising the way we heat our buildings over the next 10 years is presently one of the largest policy and investment gaps to meeting the UK’s domestic carbon budgets. E3G is proud to be supporting the Green Finance Institute’s Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce. How we finance the transition to zero carbon heat is a key part of the challenge, and we are keen to see policy-makers emboldened – by the steps the finance sector and supply chain are taking to tackle it head on – to be ambitious in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review and Heat & Buildings Strategy.” Pedro Guertler, programme leader for heat, cooling and energy efficiency, E3G.

“Helping people to afford the upfront cost of low carbon heating solutions will be key to creating zero carbon buildings. By creating the right policy environment to stimulate markets and enabling coordinated investment in energy efficient networks, we can deliver a Net Zero carbon buildings commitment. Energy Systems Catapult is therefore delighted to join GFI’s new Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce to help establish the new financial products needed for the take-up of zero carbon heating solutions and accelerate the UK towards our Net Zero goals.” Paul Jordan, innovator support business leader, Energy Systems Catapult.

“The climate emergency is real and ENGIE is committed to working with our peers and partners to tackle this head on. Achieving reductions in carbon emissions consistent with the Paris Agreement and the UK’s ambitions to be net zero by 2050 requires concerted action across the economy to decarbonise the way we meet our needs for heating and cooling. Whether through district heating, heat pumps or green gas, we need to unlock major investment in market and place-based solutions which drive this transformation in our homes, work and communities. ENGIE is delighted to be working with the Green Finance Institute and its Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce to chart a way forward and stimulate the action needed.” Dr Andy Davey, director of strategy and policy, ENGIE UK

“The finance community can play a significant part in enabling the transition to low carbon heating from funding infrastructure investments to green mortgages and the carbon education of its customers. The Kensa Group is looking forward to working with the Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce to help unlock the role of low carbon finance.”  Matthew Trewhella, managing director, Kensa Contracting.

“The UK needs a holistic and aspirational approach towards its carbon reduction obligations. Low carbon heating plays a significant part in that but is currently less well progressed than clean electricity generation. We welcome the very practical and determined efforts of the Green Finance Institute and of the Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce and are proud to play our part in continuing to shape this market for the benefit of consumers and, ultimately, the environment”. Nikola Zahariev, partner, Lux Nova Partners.

“Our experience from tens of thousands of smart tariff and electric vehicle customers proves people can’t get enough of the cleaner, safer and lower cost ways of living that Net Zero can unlock. The technology to electrify heat has already been embraced at scale in other countries. We know that small changes to move sin taxes off green electrons would catalyse investment in thousands of jobs installing heat pumps, improving our homes and helping to build a more secure energy grid, and we are excited to work with the Green Finance Institute to help make that happen.” Clementine Cowton, director of external affairs, Octopus Energy Group.

“There can be no more important target for the UK than meeting our net-zero carbon ambitions by 2050. Producing heating and hot water for buildings currently generates 20 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the UK and reducing this must be considered an area of priority if we are serious about making progress. The good news is that much of the technology and expertise needed already exists and, if backed up with the right Government policies and funding, district energy networks can play a major role in decarbonising the heating and hot water for buildings used in the UK. We believe the Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce can be instrumental in helping these changes take place.” Nick Gosling, group sales and strategy director, Vital Energi.

“Heating represents around one third of the energy used in a well-built home, and much more in the current average UK home. It’s also one of the demands most readily reduced and balanced to help enable a decarbonised energy network, which represents the most intelligent way our homes can help to fight the climate emergency in practice.” Andy Sutton, co-founder, director of design & innovation, Sero.

About the Green Finance Institute
The Green Finance Institute is an independent, commercially focused organisation, supported by Her Majesty’s Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy,  and Industrial Strategy, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the City of London Corporation.  As the UK’s principal forum for public and private sector collaboration in green finance, it is uniquely placed to mobilise capital to accelerate the domestic and international transition to a sustainable, net-zero carbon economy that is also climate resilient. The Green Finance Institute convenes and leads mission-led coalitions to identify and unlock barriers to deploy capital at pace and scale towards impactful, real-economy outcomes.  For more information visit and follow the Institute on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the CEEB
The Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB) was established by the Green Finance Institute, with support from E3G, as its flagship coalition in December 2019. Made up of more than 150 individual members from the finance, property and energy sectors and across policy, academia and non-profit organisations, the CEEB aims to develop the market for financing a net-zero carbon and climate-resilient built environment, both in the UK and internationally. In May 2020, the CEEB released its phase-one report, assessing the market for energy efficiency improvements in UK homes across all tenures, and identifying specific initiatives where the finance sector and government can bridge investment gaps to drive systemic change. The report outlines a portfolio of 21 demonstration projects and the Coalition is working collaboratively to bring these to market.