Heat Debate

Following a cross sector roundtable debate between senior executives from the Energy and Built Environment on the topic of the future for Heat provision (4 December 2012), the IET in conjunction with our local and technical networks planned a UK road show of activities to obtain input from key stakeholders around the country in preparation to produce an IET positional document in conjunction with our Energy Policy team to the UK government on District Heating and Combined Heat and Power (CHP).

The great “Heat Debate” ensues between the Energy and Built Environment sectors. Following a round table discussion between key executives from both sectors we are planning a UK road show of activities to communicate the current and future positions on this topic to IET members and the UK Government.

The cross sector target is to provide recommendations aligned with DECC’s Gas strategy and the pending government Heat Policy.

The Energy and Built Environment sectors are planning local events in key Heat and CHP locations around the UK including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, South Wales, London and Glasgow. The sectors will be inviting key stakeholders to attend these free events for their input into this important debate. IET members will obtain the opportunity to debate the key issues surrounding the future of heat with invited guests from government, planning, development, energy generation and supply as well as the relevant trade & industry associations.

London Debate

Panel Discussion - The future of heating: meeting the challenge

Chaired by: Davy Thielens
From: The future of heating: meeting the challenge, 25th November 2013, London
2013-11-25 | Power Channel

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Manchester Debate

The Heat Debate

The panellists: Frank Welsh: Head of Operations, Peel Utilities Holdings Ltd. Chris Marsland: Technical Director, Ener-G. Chris Jonas: Head of Strategic Development, Viridor. David Hodges: CIBSE Director, Eco-i
From: The Power Technical Group of the IET Manchester Local Network, 29th January 2014, Manchester
2014-01-29 | Power Channel

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Round Table Introductory Statements


  • • With the Government’s long term plan to decarbonise (domestic) heat; power, heat and cooling will merge together as one consideration;
  • • This manifests itself in technologies such as combined heat/cooling and power plants (either for industry or domestic / commercial communities or as individual micro-generation), heat pumps and traditional resistive heating powered by renewable energy;
  • • This discussion is tied in closely with energy efficiency measures (otherwise heat pumps are useless), as reducing demand is favourable over generating more but cleaner;
  • • Gas will remain dominant for the short to mid-term, amongst others due to economics, ease of use and legacy systems. CHP will increase the overall efficiency of gas by also providing power. This also means that the gas and power distribution networks are getting more interconnected and will impact each other;
  • • It is good to note that many of these technologies are not new. Waste heat from power plants has been used for decades and communal CHPs have been installed since the 60s. New policies and incentives have changed to economics and provided new focus to these concepts.

The IET Energy and Built Environment sectors will be taking a whole systems view point when compiling their recommendations. In conjunction the steering group will be looking at ways of joining together the various stakeholders so that we all pull together to satisfy the same aim.

This work will also include comparisons to what is going on internationally and what is coming in the future.

The group will be looking at what it will take to make it happen and who needs to be engaged.

To take this debate forward, the IET is planning a number of activities which will involve the key stakeholders and will be used to ‘fuel’ the outcomes of the debate which will include publications, web TV materials and materials papers to inform government.

A number of IET Local Power Networks are currently planning their “Heat Debates”. The first will be hosted by the London network in October 2013, the next scheduled debate is in Sheffield hosted by the South Yorkshire local network (Dec 2013). The Manchester Power Group (Jan 2014) and Midlands Power Groups will quickly follow suit.
Keep an eye out for event promotions through your local networks and for updates through the sector. We will have video footage of the events available after each of the debates.
The objective of these debates is to capture regional institutional and stakeholder input on the decarbonisation of Heat so that the IET can produce an output statement on the current issues facing this industry (see below for more information).

If you have any questions, comments or would like to be involved in any of this work then please get in touch with Gordon Graham, IET Energy Sector Head.