Achieving net zero emissions in the built environment is one of the most challenging aspects of the energy transition. Many stakeholders are involved, building stocks are diverse and abatement costs high. Common Futures supports clients in analysing the overall energy system aspects of options to reduce emissions. We use our energy system and policy expertise to create clear views on energy transition pathways for the built environment, always based on solid analysis. We bring parties together to develop strategies and drive forward implementation.


For example, a large roll-out of electric heat pumps in a housing district can be an important step in decarbonising the sector. However, without prior insulation and measures to lower the required heating temperature, the end result could be a very large societal cost associated with installing the electricity system upgrades necessary to deal with winter peaks. Hybrid heat pumps (fitting a heat pump alongside the existing gas boiler), could play an important role, using the high capacity of the gas boiler to help cover peaks in heat demand. These can be installed at a suitable time, before or after insulation measures, and reduce the required additional power system investments.


Optimisation of the energy transition in the built environment requires an integrated system approach and clear frameworks to develop sustainable heating. These must take into account local, regional and national system constraints. Common Futures works with industrial actors, governmental bodies and energy providers towards net zero built environment. Our recommendations have been debated in the Dutch parliament, and helped to shape government policy and advance the energy transition in the built environment.

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