“Gas boiler ban put back”
2nd Aug 2021
Look, headline writers aren’t really interested in the details, or being technically accurate, they want to catch a reader’s eye, to encourage readership of a story and a bit of “poetic licence” is allowed. So let’s unpick the headlines from last week around the news that the so-called gas boiler ban is to be pushed back from 2035 to 2040.
Firstly, it was a leaked story, to two newspapers both of whom are traditionally supportive of the Government, so it’s likely to be true, the 2035 date is being pushed back. What’s the significance?
Well the news reports suggested that the PM was alarmed by the costs of a “gas boiler ban”, recognising the reality that millions of households will face huge upfront costs, higher annual bills and potentially unsuitable properties to run the technologies that replace boilers efficiently. Now that’s a start.
Coming out soon, will be the Government’s long-awaited Hydrogen Strategy. This may also play a part in the timescale changing. Buying an extra five years to enable the conversion of the gas networks to hydrogen to cover a larger proportion of the UK population would seem a sensible move. Net Zero is to be done by 2050, not tomorrow.
Two weeks ago, the Business Secretary gave a strong hint about mandating hydrogen-ready boilers. Let’s assume 2025 is the date for this to start (and the boiler industry has played a blinder so far in enabling this) at replacement rates of 1.6million a year. Pushing the date back to 2040, means 24 million hydrogen-ready products will be in homes (effectively an entire gas boiler replacement will have taken place) and wait for it – at no additional cost to the consumer over what they would have paid anyway to replace a product.
Just think about that for a second. The sheer scale of the task, all achieved without any extra disruption or cost to the consumer. That’s an Olympic gold-winning achievement, so you can see why the Government might find it attractive. And for once, the headline writers might be onto something.
Mike Foster, CEO