(Bloomberg) -- Most British homes will still rely on boilers that burn natural gas in the coming decades, undermining the country’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Analysis from forecasters at energy consultancy DNV found that buildings in the UK will still likely make up a sizable proportion of CO2 emissions by mid-century, with more than half of heating demand still relying on natural gas.

Heat pumps are seen as the best tool to decarbonize home heating, but only half of British homes are suitable for the technology due to poor energy efficiency ratings, DNV said. That will shift as insulation is retrofitted and better insulated housing is built, but large-scale uptake is likely to be slow for at least the next few decades.

In the coming decade, most British homeowners will replace their aging gas boilers with another one, locking in the technology for years to come. Overall, some 60% of homes will still burn natural gas for heating by 2050, the DNV report found.  

The UK has some of the least efficient housing stock in Europe. Around 17% of the country’s emissions comes from buildings, largely due to burning fossil fuels for heating, according to the government’s advisory Climate Change Committee. That makes tackling poor insulation key to the country’s net zero target.


--With assistance from William Mathis.

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