The government’s long-awaited plan for how Britain heats its homes for the climate emergency has been labeled “inadequate” and “not a very good start” by environmentalists.
Only 90,000 of the UK’s 22 million gas-heated households would benefit from a £5,000 grant to replace their boilers with green heat pumps – aid that would not cover the cost of the 0.4 percent of households that would benefit.
And ministers have ignored the advice of their scientific advisers and failed to advance a phased-out date for sales of new gas boilers, with sales continuing to 2035 despite falling short of climate targets.
Under plans released overnight by the government, a £450 million boiler upgrade fund will be spread over three years until 2024, with grants to help replace just 30,000 boilers each year.
Boris Johnson has previously set a target of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year in homes and public buildings by 2028 – which campaigners say is now unlikely to be met.
The government is betting on rapidly slashing the prices of heat pumps and other green heating systems, and is providing a £60m “innovation fund” to encourage that process.
But campaigners say families need more help if climate goals are to be met. According to industry figures, just 67,000 heat pumps were sold in the UK in 2021, compared with about half a million new gas boilers.
£450m distributed through an individual £5,000 grant means 90,000 heat pump installations over three years. “It’s not much, and will not meet the prime minister’s ambition of 600,000 per year by 2028,” said Mike Childs, head of science, policy and research at Friends of the Earth. minor”.
“The investment will drive down the cost of heat pumps, and technological innovation plus skills training is part of it, but so is the scale. These grants will only encourage the very best of homes.”
Greenpeace UK climate campaigner Carolyn Jones said: “Sadly, the government has undermined what is needed to transform our housing into the clean, affordable, energy efficient homes we all want and want to live in. needed.
“Housing is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonize, but the government is making it more difficult with clear policies and insufficient funding, leaving half of its tools in the toolbox.”
She continued: “More money must be provided to rapidly increase the number of homeowners switching to heat pumps over the next few years, which covers the full cost for low-income households. A clear sign is 2035 New boilers will have to be phased out before the U.S. and all this with a fully funded, nationwide program to insulate our homes at a scale and speed that the government has not fully understood. “
The government’s Committee on Climate Change, a statutory body that advises ministers on how to meet net zero, had also recommended bringing the phase-out date for gas boilers to 2032.
But this recommendation was nowhere in the government’s strategy, with the date staying in 2035, potentially baking in millions of new gas boilers in the intervening years. The government has a legally binding target to hit net zero by 2050, although some scientists argue that the date needs to be pushed forward to avoid catastrophic climate change.
The committee says that to meet climate goals, at least 80 percent of all new heating installations by 2030 should be low-carbon systems like heat pumps – about one million installations a year.
Announcing the new policy, Boris Johnson said: “As we clean up the way we heat our homes over the next decade, we look to our brilliant innovators to buy and run clean technology like heat pumps as well as gas boilers.” Are supporting to make it cheaper – while supporting thousands of green jobs.
“Our new grants will help homeowners make the switch sooner at no additional cost, so that going green is the better option when their boilers need an upgrade.”
But Labor’s shadow business secretary Ed Miliband called the plan a “modest, blatant and completely inadequate response”.
“Families up and down the country were in dire need of Labour’s 10-year plan, investing £6bn a year for home insulation and zero carbon heating to cut bills by £400 per year, our energy To improve safety, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions,” he said. .
“People can’t heat their homes with Boris Johnson’s hot air, but that’s all on offer.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /