My imaginary interview with the Prime Minister

21st Aug 2023


MF: Good morning Prime Minister

MF: “Thank you for taking part in this interview about home heating. You voted in 2019 for net zero, how much will it cost the average household to meet the obligation?”

PM: “Well as all the experts say, net zero is a great economic opportunity and we will benefit from meeting the target by 2050.”

MF: “That’s a good answer to a question PM but not the question I actually asked, let’s move on. In 2026, your government plan to ban households from replacing an oil boiler with another boiler, they have to install a low carbon alternative such as a heat pump. How much will this cost the consumer?”

PM: “Well heat pump costs are falling and they will soon cost the same as a boiler.”

MF: “Can I ask who told you that was the case, as heat pump manufacturers don’t believe this to be true?”

PM: “Well government officials have said it, so it must be true.”

MF: “The current cost of a heat pump installation, according those same government officials, is £13,000. How many people, with an oil boiler in rural Britain can afford to make the switch from oil to a heat pump?”

PM: “Well it’s important that they do, because oil heating emits 1 per cent of the UK’s emissions and every little helps.”

MF: “So that’s 1 per cent of the UK’s emissions, which are 1 per cent of global emissions, so it is indeed a little. But if I can come back to the question, how can people afford the £13,000?”

PM: “Well all we are doing is stopping them buying and fitting a new boiler from 2026. If they were worried about their boiler breaking down, they could replace it in 2025 and that’s fine with us.”

MF: “That’s interesting PM, so you are not going to stop people using oil, just fitting a  new boiler.”

PM: “That’s right.”

MF: “What about repairing a broken, inefficient boiler, after 2026 is that allowed?”

PM: “Absolutely fine with me, we just want to stop people buying a new efficient boiler for their home.”

MF: “You are a man of numbers PM, given a heat pump costs £13,000 how much would it be worth paying to repair that broken boiler?”

PM: “Strictly speaking, £12,999.”

MF: “Thank you PM, your answers have been most illuminating.”

Mike Foster

EUA's Chief Executive


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