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Chart of the Week


Survey reveals public underestimate role of heating in emissions

Neil Mearns Senior Writer

In this week's 'Chart of the week', we look at the findings published by BEIS from a survey of the British public on the transition to a low-carbon heating future on 1 September. Transforming Heat – Public Attitudes Research reveals that there is strong public support for carbon reduction policies, but there was some disconnect with knowledge of the role heat could play. The report presents findings of a survey conducted in May 2019, which explored public awareness and attitudes towards potential pathways for the decarbonisation of heat. It was produced by NatCen Social Research for BEIS. It details the level of awareness and knowledge of the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions of heat in domestic and commercial buildings, UK emission reduction targets and specific low-carbon heating technologies. On a scale of 1-10, the average perceived contribution of five sectors to reducing UK carbon emissions are as follows: transport (8); industry (7.9); heating/cooling in domestic/commercial buildings (6.4); agriculture (5.4); non-heating energy use in domestic/commercial buildings (5.8). Heating and cooling in domestic and commercial buildings is equivalent to transport and industry, each estimated to contribute 20-25% of total UK emissions. The report finds there was strong public support for carbon reduction policies. 90% regarded targets for emissions overall and heating specifically, to be important. Self-reported knowledge/awareness when focused specifically on heating was relatively low. Most have never heard of several types of low-carbon heating technologies (see Figure 1). Much of the public did not know that heating in buildings is one of the largest contributors to ...

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