EDITOR’S COMMENT: Gas boilers will be banned in all newly built homes within three years under the government’s plan to tackle climate change. We hope you are prepared to pay more to “tackle climate change”…
The move, two years earlier than previously planned, was initially included in a ten-point initiative announced yesterday to help Britain reach its target of net zero emissions by 2050. The “future homes standard” will require all new homes to have low-carbon alternatives, such as electric heat pumps.
Although the reference to the 2023 deadline was removed from the official document within an hour of The Times approaching the government for clarification, and its inclusion explained as a “technical error”, a government source later confirmed that the ban was being brought forward.
“It wasn’t supposed to be in there,” the source said. “There hasn’tbeen any stakeholder engagement on it yet but it’s definitely the plan.”
In 2019, when the government first proposed banning the sale of gas boilers from 2025, it acknowledged that there would be practical challenges to be overcome with a target of 300,000 new homes to build a year. At present, about 30,000 heat pumps are installed each year.
In a consultation document, the Ministry of Housing noted that “there may not be the necessary supply chains, trained installers and product availability needed for every home-builder”.
A report by the Committee on Climate Change the same year said: “It is not feasible to ramp up installation rates of heat pumps straight away to the current level of gas boiler sales . . . due to the lack of market development but also because there are not enough qualified heat pump installers.”