Decarbonisation of commercial heating: an introduction

We have the knowledge, experience and skills to play our part in ensuring the nation achieves its Net Zero targets and so our customers have the best and most advanced solutions for heating and hot water, whatever their needs and requirements.

We believe in a sustainable and greener future that involves multiple technologies.

Shaun Edwards


CEO - Groupe Atlantic, UK, ROI & North America Divisions

Chris Caton, Head of Commercial Product Management

Until relatively recently, the UK’s pathway to net zero in 2050 and the decarbonisation of heating has been focused on residential rather than commercial applications.

But in December 2020, the government’s 10 Point Plan and the Carbon Climate Committee’s 6th Carbon Budget included commercial, public buildings and network heating for the first time.

Future energy sources

At the same as broadening the scope of efforts to decarbonise this country’s heating infrastructure – something we wholeheartedly welcome – these publications indicated that a mix of product types will be required for us to meet our 2050 target.

Previously, the focus was on transitioning from gas appliances to electric solutions, including heat pumps, electric boilers and panel heating.

But now there’s also talk of the potential for 100% hydrogen to replace the methane supplied through the traditional gas network.

While the sustainability heating opportunity in the commercial market is huge and exciting, there are a number of questions to be answered, including:

  • Will new energy sources be available nationwide, or will an area-by-area approach be taken?
  • Will the difference in price between electricity and grid gas be addressed?
  • Or will hydrogen become the most expensive option?

Hydrogen on the other hand has far more in common with the performance of today’s gas boilers, with a higher operating temperature that’s better-suited to older buildings, where upgrading the building fabric isn’t possible during refurbishment.

BEIS is set to announce its hydrogen business model strategy later this year, which will include a commitment from the government on targets for electricity and hydrogen production – and which in turn will inform future innovation and product development.

Our vision

The world of commercial heating is changing, and we want to be at the forefront of it.

As well as bringing heat pumps and hydrogen products to market, we’ll be there to support in the application of new low carbon technologies, to ensure they deliver on comfort, cost and sustainability.

Groupe Atlantic is the UK market leader in commercial boilers, and the French market leader in heat pumps. 

Combine the two and the role we can play in leading the UK’s net zero commercial heating transition is clear.

The road ahead

Growth in the commercial heat pump market is already underway.

In the next five years, we anticipate the gas grid will move to a 20% hydrogen blend, and that new boilers and water heaters will need to be 100% hydrogen ready – ahead of a nationwide hydrogen rollout next decade.

Check out this blog about low carbon heating in the domestic sector – and keep coming back here for more insight, advice and analysis on the commercial side, too.