“If it’s gas it must be bad”
29th Nov 2021
Not a day goes by now without energy bills being in the news. Whether it is retailers, with their unsustainable business plans, going bust, other retailers asking for the price cap to be removed so they can charge consumers another £1000 a year or pundits speculating on likely price rises, the news is not great for the consumer.
Add to this mix the London-based commentators, comfortably working from a warm home (yes usually heated by a gas boiler), keen to point out that “if it is gas, it must be bad”. It’s a toxic environment at times for our industry and yet when the facts are known, there is still so much good work that goes unreported.
Let’s take first-time gas central heating connections as an example. I can already hear the outrage that people are being connected to gas, but there’s a very simple reason they are, because it is good for them.
According to a recent evaluation of The Warm Homes Fund, providing first-time central heating, with the Fuel Poor Network Extension scheme gas connection, cuts energy bills; reduces fuel poverty, and contributes to vastly improved health outcomes for the fuel poor. Let’s look at what was found.
According to the evaluation, conducted by Newcastle University, National Energy Action, and the Energy Audit Company, fuel poverty was cut by a third; the fuel poverty gap reduced by 65 per cent and energy bills were slashed by an average of £626 a year. Recipients also reported improved physical and mental health outcomes as a result of living in an affordably warmer home. All this by the humble gas boiler, a few radiators and a gas connection. Who would have thought it possible?
So when I see these London-based “experts” suggesting “gas boilers are rubbish”, my response is not to go quiet, not to be embarrassed because it’s gas, but to say that if you don’t like your gas boiler, by all means replace it with a heat pump. But don’t ever lecture others, from your comfortable home, because they are experiencing, for the first time, the benefits of gas central heating.
Mike Foster, CEO