Energy trade body calls for urgent clarification of home heat decarbonisation policy

Following comments made by Lord Callanan in the Sunday Telegraph (26.2.2023), the chief executive of leading energy trade body, Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), has written to the Minister asking for urgent clarification of Government policy surrounding fossil fuel boilers, heat pump installation and decarbonisation of home heating.

EUA calls for urgent clarity on decarbonisation policy after heat pump comments

‘Nobody’s going to be forced to ditch their boiler’

In the newspaper article, Lord Callanan states, “nobody’s going to be forced to ditch their boiler” and that forcing “households to replace gas boilers with heat pumps would be against the British character.”

While agreeing with the statements, EUA’s CEO Mike Foster points out that it is current Government policy for fossil fuel boilers to be replaced by heat pumps. In his letter Mr Foster has now demanded urgent clarification of what current policy is.

Mr Foster said: “Lord Callanan’s words are welcome. We agree with them. Nobody should be forced to ditch their boiler and to force a heat pump onto households does go against the British character. But the Minister’s own department are pursuing a policy that directly contradicts what the Minister has said.”

Confusion is the last thing needed

“In the Heat and Building Strategy it is clearly stated that from 2026 those homes off the gas grid will not be allowed to install a new oil or LPG boiler. This forces households to ditch their boiler. Yet now the Minister says he is against his own policy.”

“Officials in the Minister’s own department have described off gas grid homes as ‘low hanging fruit’, easy to pick off and have a heat pump installed to replace a boiler. For those currently using a gas boiler, the Heat and Buildings Strategy identified 2035 as the date after which a gas boiler could not be installed. Has this deadline now been scrapped too?”

“We need to clarify the situation urgently. Consumers need to know what the future holds for them, as does industry. One minute gas boilers are being banned, the next it is against the British character to do this. It’s chaos. Whether you make boilers, heat pumps or both, confusion is the very last thing needed.”