Long-delayed Heat and Buildings Strategy finally set to arrive next week, as reports suggest plan aims to accelerate shift away from boilers by moving green surcharges from electricity to gas bills. The government is reportedly poised to publish the long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy next week, with the crucial document expected to feature plans to ban the installation of gas boilers from 2035 and accelerate the roll out of heat pumps through a package of grants and energy bill reforms. After numerous delays and briefings to the press over the summer, The Sun reported today that the long-promised Heat and Buildings Strategy will be published next week, ahead of the COP26 Climate Summit which kicks off in Glasgow in less than three weeks’ time.
Business Green 12th Oct 2021 read more »
Household gas bills are set to rise by £159 to fund a green levy to help the UK reach its target to slash carbon emissions. The plans will be unveiled next week as part of the Government’s net-zero strategy, which will also ban new gas boilers after 2035 and provide subsidies for greener electric heat pumps. The rise on gas bills will be phased in over the next few years, but there will be a parallel cut in the cost of electricity to consumers, as ministers try to shift the balance towards renewable energy. Whitehall sources insisted there would be no overall increase to household bills due to the reduction in electricity costs. But consumers already face higher gas bills within months due to the soaring wholesale cost of the fuel. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted at the weekend that the price cap on household energy bills will stay in place this winter, but there is speculation that the Government and Ofgem will be forced to raise the cap after April 2022 to absorb the rising cost of wholesale gas to retailers. A report by energy analysts Cornwall Insight last week forecast that energy bills could rise by as much as 30 per cent next year if that happens, from a current maximum of £1,277 to £1,660.
iNews 12th Oct 2021 read more »
Heat pumps must be more than hot air. There is a yawning chasm between ambition and reality in the Government’s plans to replace gas boilers. The Government has pledged to install in 600,000 homes every year by 2028. They are a “big bet”, as Mr Johnson put it, in the Government’s strategy to reach net zero emissions by 2050. They are highly energy-efficient and well-suited to the UK’s relatively mild climate, and are the only commercially proven low-carbon replacement for gas and oil-fired boilers on the market. The problem is that they cost, on average, around six times more than a gas boiler, produce lower output temperatures than their fossil-fuelled counterparts, take up more space and are more disruptive to install. The prohibitively high price means consumer demand to meet the Government’s aspirations is pitifully low. As new Onward research reveals today, the UK is woefully off-track to meeting the 2028 target: on the current trajectory the goal of 600,000 installations per year will not be met until 2057 – nearly three decades too late. If this “big bet” is to pay off, further innovation will be needed to lower their cost and boost their performance. Key to this will be stimulating private-sector investment by incentivising demand and establishing a strong domestic supply chain. The Prime Minister speaks of needing to “build the market in a very systematic way” and he is correct – but until now there has been no systemic thinking. The Heat and Buildings Strategy next week is the moment to set out serious interventions to kick-start the market. The first thing the Government should do is reduce VAT on heat pumps to 5 per cent. This would offer consumers a 15 per cent discount on current prices, creating greater demand certainty and encouraging manufacturers to invest in innovation. In the long term, this would not cost the Exchequer. VAT on gas boilers is 20 per cent but they are at least four times cheaper than a heat pump. The average gross VAT paid on a boiler sale at 20 per cent or a heat pump sale at 5 per cent would be approximately equal. As gas boilers are gradually phased out for heat pumps, VAT receipts should remain at roughly the same level.
Telegraph 13th Oct 2021 read more »
The Government wants to replace gas boilers with green alternatives in the coming years, but many households fear they will be left to pick up the bill. By 2025 builders will be banned from fitting conventional gas boilers in new-build homes, and ministers are reportedly considering outlawing the sale of the devices completely by the mid-2030s. Instead homes in Britain will likely be heated by heat pumps, which can be prohibitively expensive to install, or hydrogen systems, which are still in development. Millions of draughty homes will also need to be better insulated in order to preserve energy and keep homes at optimal temperatures. But will you be forced to replace your existing boiler, and how much will it cost you? Telegraph Money takes a look.
Telegraph 12th Oct 2021 read more »