Ban new boiler sales to switch people over to heat pumps, says infrastructure tsar

By Paul Homewood

h/t Ian Magness


A ban on the sale of new boilers will be needed to persuade people to switch to greener heat pumps, the Government’s infrastructure chief has said.

An annual target of 600,000 installations of heat pumps by 2028 has been set by Downing Street.

Heat pumps, which draw energy from the air or ground using electricity, can cut carbon emissions by roughly 75 per cent, but currently cost about £10,000 to install.

The National Infrastructure Commission is investigating ways to fund the transition and encourage the take-up of heat pumps and will make recommendations to the Government next year.

However, Sir John Armitt, its chairman, suggested that a ban on the sale of new gas boilers would have to be part of the answer.

He told The Telegraph: “Why would you move to a heat pump at somewhere between £5-£15,000 as long as you can buy or exchange for a new gas boiler for £1,500? The only way that you can make such a significant shift is by saying, well, ‘from a particular date, you will not be able to buy a new gas boiler’.”

The Government has set an ambition for the sale of new gas boilers to be phased out by the mid-2030s, but has declined to set a date for a ban.

Instead, it is hoping to boost the market with grants for a few households as well as funds to help boost manufacturing in the UK.

A new £450 million government grant scheme will cover up to £5,000 of the costs, but is expected to cover about 90,000 installations over three years.

Sir John dismissed hopes that hydrogen could play a significant role in replacing gas in boilers and said there was little alternative to heat pumps for the UK to decarbonise its home heating, which accounts for about 14 per cent of emissions.

However, he said that using them to replace gas boilers in 23 million homes would require a change of attitude to heating, and might require back-up by space heaters because heat pumps work best at lower temperatures, which are maintained throughout the day.

“What we like at the moment is just flicking the thermostat and, bang, we can raise the temperature by three degrees fairly quickly. You can’t do that with an air-source heat pump,” he said.

“If you want instant heat, then you will have to plug something else in to give you that extra boost.”

So, not only do we have to pay £15000+ for a heat pump, we will also need back up heaters because they cannot heat our homes properly.

Armitt, who is also Chairman of the National Express Group and City & Guilds, Deputy Chairman of the Berkeley Group and a member of the Board of Transport for London, is obviously not short of a bob or two. To him and his ilk, £15000 is loose change. The fact that policy decisions, which will hugely impact ordinary people, are being formulated by him tells us everything that is wrong with our system of government.


April 18, 2022 at 03:36AM

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