Ban Gas Boilers to Force People to Pay For More Expensive and Less Effective Heat Pumps, Says Government Infrastructure Adviser

The sale of new boilers should be banned to force people to switch to ‘greener’ but more expensive and less effective heat pumps, the Government’s infrastructure chief has said. The Telegraph has the story.

Heat pumps, which draw energy from the air or ground using electricity, can cut carbon emissions by roughly 75%, 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. …

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 U.K. to decarbonise its home heating, which accounts for about 14% 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.”

Or maybe we should just stick with gas boilers and find other things to worry about than the world possibly getting slightly warmer over the coming century – which the U.K. stopping using gas boilers will not, even according to IPCC models, have any material effect on anyway.

Worth reading in full.

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