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  • Andrew Byrne

CBI report calls time on conventional gas boilers

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

In a report published on July 22nd, a Heat Commission convened by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called upon the Government to ban the installation of conventional gas boilers from 2025. If this advice is not acted upon, the report says, the UK's pledge to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is "doomed".

Abiding by the recommendation would represent a significant divergence from the policy announced in March 2019 by then Chancellor, Philip Hammond, which made low-carbon heating systems a pre-requisite for new homes from 2025. The report from the CBI (who worked in conjunction with leading industry figures and the University of Birmingham) recommends this be extended to all homes, advice which the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) had provided prior to Hammond’s statement.

Heat is the source of one-third of UK carbon emissions with domestic homes accounting for half of that total. It is estimated that only about 4% of UK homes have low-carbon heat. According to Professor Martin Freer from the University of Birmingham, meeting the UK’s target of net-zero carbon emission by 2050 would require 20 million households adopting “new energy efficiency measures and new ways of getting heat”.

The Heat Commission recommended extending the Green Homes Grants recently announced by the government to help households with these changes. The estimated benefit to the economy and the nation’s workforce is considerable with a possible 150,000 new jobs being created.

It is acknowledged in the report that disruption is inevitable during the transitions mentioned and the creation of a time-limited national delivery body – similar to that involved in the staging of the 2012 London Olympics – could be the solution.

As the economy looks to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Heat Commission’s report is timely and welcomed by the CCC. It highlights how green energy and green homes can, not just contribute but, lead the way towards a better environment. To adapt the Olympics motto; “cleaner, faster, stronger”.


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