SHIFFT is an INTERREG 2 Seas project promoting cross-border cooperation between four European countries: the Netherlands, France, Belgium and the UK. The main objective of SHIFFT is to stimulate the adoption of low-carbon heating technologies in existing buildings, through a number of routes:
• helping to develop city strategies in four municipalities;
• producing guidance to help cities develop low carbon heating strategies;
• providing knowledge and best practice to run co-creation processes to ensure communities and stakeholders are involved in the transition to low-carbon heating;
• delivering a number of exemplar low carbon heating projects.
This report sets out some initial work by the SHIFFT team to develop a common framework approach to help cities to create low carbon heating strategies. A common approach can help cities avoid replication of work and overcome some of the complexities in enabling a transition to low carbon heating in homes and community buildings. At a high level, we suggest that a sustainable heating strategy sets out a high-level vision for how this shift will be achieved, with clear goals and a plan or policy on how to achieve these goals, including a roadmap. Drawing on a literature review and practical experience, during two workshops, the SHIFFT partnership has composed a list of key components for sustainable heating strategies. SHIFFT suggests that a sound sustainable heating strategy should:
• offer a clear goal (e.g. carbon- neutrality by 2050) with sub-goals and timeframe (e.g. 2025, 2035);
• develop a roadmap to achieve these goals;
• be co-created by citizens, technical experts, politicians and other stakeholders, so that the strategy developed will be socially legitimate;
• indicate techno-economic feasibility of sustainable heating technologies and solutions and describe under which conditions these technologies are feasible;
• not stand alone but be embedded in other local policies (e.g. climate plan, spatial planning, building regulation);
• build on and feed into heating policy at regional, national and international level (i.e. EU);
• support and steer sustainable heating projects on a district and building level;
• not simply allocate the costs to other domains (e.g. air quality, energy poverty);
• be customised to local conditions;
• be in line with legal and institutional requirements.