By Paul Homewood
From silly Jilly:
Gas hobs could be banned from being installed in new homes within seven years over fears that they are harming the environment.
Under new plans unveiled on Thursday by climate watchdogs no new homes will be connected to the gas grid after 2025 at the latest, in order for the UK to meet its legally binding climate targets.
The proposals, from Government’s official climate advisers, would call time on new gas radiators, boilers and cooking hobs.
The move away from gas hobs is likely to disappoint many home cooks who prefer them to electric as they find the heat is easier to control.
Instead, the Committee on Climate Change has said new homes should rely solely on low-carbon heat sources, such as electric heat pumps or district heating schemes.
Lord Deben, the committee’s chairman, said: “Simply put, there is no way in which the UK can meet the legally-binding climate change targets that Parliament has determined unless we take the measures outlined in this report.”
The report calls for the millions of new-build homes to be built in the coming years to meet ultra-high energy efficiency standards, and be timber-framed where possible.
Meanwhile, the UK’s 30 million existing homes should face tougher energy efficiency standards by improving insulation and taking up new low-carbon heat technologies too.
Chris Stark, the committee’s chief executive, said the “cultural shift” away from gas is “not one that we should be scared of”.
“We know that these technologies work; they provide exactly the same level of comfort, are more efficient, and of course they are greener too,” he said.
The UK is bound by law to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80pc from the 1990s by 2050 under the Climate Change Act. Home heating is “very much on the front line” of the UK’s battle against climate change as it makes up around a fifth of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“The question of low-carbon heat, plus improved energy efficiency, and adapting our housing stock for the changing climate stands as one of the biggest infrastructure questions that we have in the UK at the moment,” he said.
I’m not sure why the headline only refers to hobs, as the real problem lies with boilers.
This proposal only applies to new houses at the moment, but I suspect it will soon be extended to existing ones as well.
Gummer’s proposals go way beyond gas hobs:
New homes are barely affordable at the moment for new buyers, and this catalogue of requirements will simply serve to add thousands more onto the cost of buying.
Equally, existing home owners will be less likely to afford them either.
But, back to the issue of gas, and some facts that Jillian Ambrose forgot to mention:
1) Electricity is much dearer than gas. Currently I pay 12.36p/KWh for electric, but only 2.46p/KWh for gas.
2) While heat pumps can be more efficient than gas central heating and help offset some of this price difference, they are also expensive to install. It is also questionable whether they are fully effective in cold weather.
3) Demand for gas in winter peaks at around 350 GW, seven times as high as electricity.
To even partially convert gas to electricity would involve a massive expansion of power capacity, as well as upgrading of distribution networks.
4) There is then the question of where this electricity will come from. Currently all output from wind and solar power is fully maximised on the grid. Any extra demand can only be met from other sources, which effectively means gas or nuclear.
Given that we are struggling to get enough nuclear built to meet existing requirements, this means gas. As it is much more efficient to burn gas in people’s homes, rather than generate electricity to transmit, Gummer’s policy won’t even reduce emissions, it will likely increase them.
If, on the contrary, we are to build enough wind farms to meet extra demand, (solar being useless in winter), these wind farms will be surplus to requirements for most of the year.
Indeed, the same will apply to the CCGT plants needed as back up.
From a financial point of view, the plan is a hugely expensive non starter.
All this, of course, only applies to new houses. But how long will it be before the rules are extended to existing housing stock. After all, with only about 150,000 new houses built a year, Gummer’s proposals will have little effect on overall domestic emissions when there are another 30m houses out there already.
It is the thin end of the wedge, and I suspect that we will soon see sales of conventional gas boilers, ovens and heaters banned for all households, not just new ones.
In the meantime, Gummer’s list of things existing homeowners must do is a long one:
And, ominously, guess who is going to pay?
“Polices are needed for households deemed able-to-pay”
TRANSLATION – most homeowners will be forced to pay for a range of home “improvements”, which they neither want nor can afford.
And it won’t just end with a bit of insulation. They will be forced to pay thousands of pounds for all sorts of other nonsense, such as indoor air quality and overheating.
And all of this will have to be enforced by “greater levels of inspection and stricter enforcement of building standards are required, alongside stiffer penalties for non-compliance”
Watch out, the Climate Stasi are coming after you!
And what will all of this achieve? Forget about the Chinese and Indians. Closer to home, Germany, who are already using 15% more gas than we are, are busy building NordStream 2, which will pump in huge new supplies of gas from Russia.
It is ironic that any government department putting forward new policies must thoroughly cost them. Yet Gummer’s CCC can recommend any old rubbish, without telling how much we will have to pay.
The country never voted for the Climate Change Act, nor its climate targets. And they certainly never voted to have their gas supplies taken away from them.
It is time for the government to draw a line in the sand, and tell Gummer where to put his advice.
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
February 21, 2019 at 08:31AM