Monday, May 27, 2024

Sunak waters down net zero pledges with gas and oil boilers to be allowed even after 2035

A delay to the ban on gas boilers is set to be announced by the Government, according to reports.

The planned ban on oil boilers is set to be delayed from 2026 to 2035, with a requirement that only 80 per cent are replaced by that date.

Similarly, instead of banning the installation of gas boilers after 2035, Mr Sunak is expected to say that the same proportion can be phased out by then.

Also plans to fine landlords for failing to upgrade their properties to a certain level of energy efficiency could be scrapped.

The current target is for no gas boilers to be installed in new homes by 2025, and for the phasing out of boilers altogether to begin in 2033.

Housing secretary Michael Gove had previously hinted on a possible u-utrn saying that homeowners and landlords must be given more time to get rid of gas boilers.

He warned against “creating a backlash” by pushing too hard towards a roll out of alternative heating systems, such as heat pumps. Saying: “It is certainly the case that phasing out gas boilers … does impose costs.” Adding that the Government should “ease off”, and give property owners longer to switch away from gas heating.

“It is certainly the case that phasing out gas boilers and at the moment moving towards heat pumps does impose costs,” Gove said, and that he was “looking at how we can mitigate the impact on individuals”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ordered an audit of the Government’s net zero policies before the expected general election next year.

Ministers are also said to be thinking about a delay on the proposed 2026 ban of oil-fired boilers after protests from Conservative MPs.

Heat pumps are too expensive for many households to afford, the MPs say.

The UK change is the opposite from what many other countries are doing, only recently the German government voted on a bill to ban most oil and gas heating boilers in new and oil buildings from 2024 as part of a plan to reduce emissions.

The ruling coalition in Germany has decided that nearly all new heating systems should run on 65% renewable energy, with exemptions for homeowners aged over 80 and for households with the lowest incomes.

Commenting on the news, Christophe Williams, CEO and co-founder of solar tech scale-up Naked Energy, Said: “Sunak’s expected announcement today has the potential to deliver an immense blow to the UK’s green industries. We’ve seen so many policies implemented and then watered down or scrapped – consumers and industry will end up paying the price for the government’s indecision.

“Reliable government policy and investment in renewables is urgently needed to revitalise investor and business confidence and re-establish the UK as a net zero leader. Markets and investors need to see a clear and consistent long-term strategy that extends beyond the usual 5-year cycle.

“The government is missing the immense opportunity that domestic manufacturing of renewables presents, which can generate economic growth and new jobs across the country.

“The impact on the UK’s energy security also cannot be understated. If we don’t rapidly invest in our domestic infrastructure, the country will remain extremely vulnerable to the volatility of global energy markets and foreign powers – we simply can’t continue like this.

“Doing nothing now will only cost us more in ten years’ time – we’ve already seen this happen over the past decade, and we can’t let it happen again.”