The UK government this week pledged to ban gas boilers from new-build homes by 2023 – two years earlier than previously planned.
This commitment is a key part of a £12 billion, 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The plan also signalled that replacement gas boilers in older properties should be phased out by 2035.
There is still some confusion surrounding the Government’s intention to advance the 2025 timeframe for the cessation of gas boiler installations in new properties. The authorities, however, clearly remain committed to implementing these measures as soon as possible, as part of their Future Homes Standard.
At Clean Renewable Energy, we are encouraged by the Government’s emboldened approach to decarbonising the country. Indeed, the undertaking is to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas pollution faster than other leading world economies - with the objective of achieving zero emissions by 2050.
Whilst diesel and petrol vehicles seem to be on borrowed time – the Government plans to eliminate hydrocarbon-powered new car sales by 2030 – they now really have gas boilers in their sights as well.
“The big issue is gas boilers,” a government source said. “If we really want to make these kinds of in-roads, we have to do more to decarbonise people’s homes.”
The existing UK target is for carbon emissions to be cut by 57% by 2030, from 1990 levels. But the Government is now considering increasing this figure to nearly 70%.
If this new target comes into effect, it will be significantly higher than the EU’s goals, which currently stand at around 40% by 2030, although the European Commission says it wants that figure to rise to 60%.
Britain has reduced emissions by 45% since 1990, meaning that the rate of decarbonisation will have to increase by half again over the next decade if it is to meet the new target.
Meanwhile, The World Meteorological Organisation, part of the United Nations, has said that 2020 will be one of the hottest on record. This can only intensify the urgency for removing carbon emissions. Currently, around 80% of UK homes are heated by gas boilers. Overall, home heating accounts for around 14% of all carbon emissions in Britain.
At the same time, the Climate Change Committee has stated that buildings should be fully decarbonised by 2050 - but progress towards reaching that target needs to be speeded up.
How air source heat pumps have a huge part to play in tacking climate change
Air and ground source heat pumps clearly provide a major part of the solution.
As a UK market leader in the specialist field of environmentally-friendly heat pump heating systems, Clean Renewable Energy is helping to drive change as quickly as possible. As a nation, however, we have really only just begun on this important journey.
To put this into some sort of context, the UK Government wants 600,000 heat pump installations by 2028 – that’s 20 times the total number of installations that were carried in Britain last year. So clearly, we’ve got plenty of work to do!
Maybe it will be YOUR home that’s next to take the step towards carbon-free, green energy.