The construction industry is facing a crucial challenge in meeting the net-zero targets set for 2050 due to a slowdown in the growth rate of training for heat pump installers. This key finding was revealed in a study conducted by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), which emphasized the importance of heat pump adoption in improving the energy performance of buildings.
The report, titled Construct Zero, also shed light on the slow progress of electric van adoption. Despite a government target of having 70% of new vans be electric by 2030, only 5.5% of vans sold in October were electric. To overcome this barrier, the CLC plans to consult its Construct Zero members to better understand the reasons behind the construction sector’s hesitation in adopting electric vehicles.
While progress has been made in other areas, such as the government’s commitment to delivering 300,000 electric vehicle charge points by 2030, the CLC stressed the need for a collective effort from developers, infrastructure clients, and housebuilders in cutting diesel usage on construction sites.
To accelerate the transition to net-zero, the CLC launched the Construct Zero program during COP26 in November 2021. This initiative aims to provide a universal tool for collecting and reporting data on how the construction industry is tackling its carbon challenges.
The Construct Zero report was welcomed by Nusrat Ghani, the minister of state for industry and economic security, who highlighted the progress made so far but acknowledged the need for further action. Ghani also announced the inclusion of five new business champions to the Construct Zero program, including FM Conway, Jewson, Encore Environment, Ecoclo Synergy UK, and Danosa UK.
Matt Palmer, CLC industry sponsor for biodiversity and net zero, commended the positive progress made in the construction sector but emphasized the importance of continuous innovation and collaboration to meet net-zero targets.
Amanda Williams, head of environmental sustainability at the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the urgency to address the shortfall of trained heat pump installers and improve energy efficiency in existing housing stock. Williams also called for a comprehensive national retrofit strategy to reduce emissions from buildings, highlighting that many of the structures we inhabit today will still be present in 2050.
The construction industry must prioritize the training of heat pump installers and address barriers to electric vehicle adoption to achieve the ambitious net-zero targets. Collaborative efforts, innovation, and a comprehensive nationwide strategy are crucial in transitioning to a more sustainable future.
1. What are heat pumps?
Heat pumps are devices that use electricity to transfer heat from a colder area to a warmer one. They provide a highly efficient and sustainable method of heating and cooling buildings.
2. Why is it important to accelerate training for heat pump installers?
Accelerating training for heat pump installers is crucial for meeting the net-zero targets by 2050. Heat pumps play a vital role in improving the energy performance of buildings, which is essential for reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to a more sustainable future.
3. What is the Construct Zero program?
The Construct Zero program was launched by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to collect and report data on the construction industry’s efforts in tackling carbon challenges. It aims to provide a universal tool for monitoring progress and fostering collaboration within the sector.
4. What is the government’s target for electric vans?
The government has set a target for 70% of new vans to be electric by 2030. However, as of October, only 5.5% of vans sold were electric, highlighting the need to expedite the adoption of electric vehicles in the construction sector.
5. How can the construction industry contribute to achieving net-zero targets?
The construction industry can contribute to achieving net-zero targets by prioritizing the training of heat pump installers, adopting electric vehicles, cutting diesel usage on construction sites, and implementing energy-efficient practices. Collaboration, innovation, and a comprehensive national strategy are essential in driving the industry towards a more sustainable future.