Gas boiler replacements: Desperate Boris tries to calm fears UK households face £10k cost
Boris Johnson discusses introduction of heat pumps to UK homes
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Boris Johnson answered questions from Ministers today and the Prime Minister was pushed on his environmental plans ahead of this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is to be held in Glasgow come November. Clive Betts, the Labour MP for Sheffield South East, queried Mr Johnson on how households will switch from boilers to new “heat pumps” effectively and the Prime Minister assured families will not face drastic costs to do so.
Mr Betts focused on how “minimal progress” had been made in recent years in reducing emission levels from housing.
Mr Johnson rejected this and detailed progress had been seen and additional plans are being worked on.
As Mr Johnson detailed: “I’m going to be frank with the committee, this is something that is very difficult to pull off.
“Because what we need to do is ensure that we’re able to heat people’s homes and provide them with power in an affordable way, whilst also reducing co2.
“You know perfectly well Mr Betts, the ways of doing that through ground source heat pumps or air source heat pumps, or through hydrogen [are the] principal alternatives that we have.
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“And what we’re doing is building a market, working with the producers, with manufacturers, with the whole sector, to ensure that just as we are doing with electric vehicle manufacturers, we drive the bills down.”
The Prime Minister went on to detail the UK “can’t have” a situation where ordinary homeowners suddenly face unreasonable costs to move from boilers to new pump systems.
In response to this, Mr Betts argued the UK is not in a strong position to meet the demand, with just 38,000 heat pumps installed in 2020.
The current aim is to have all homes outfitted by 2033 and Mr Johnson was pushed on how this is going to be achieved.
Mr Johnson acknowledged the difficulty but assured the Government was working to build enough heat pumps to bring the overall price down.
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As Mr Johnson explained: “At the moment, let’s be frank, these things cost about £10,000 a pop okay, this is a lot of money for ordinary people.
“We’ve got to make sure that when we embark on this programme that we have a solution that is affordable and that works for people.
“We won’t be imposing it until we [get it right].”
The Prime Minister concluded by detailing that he believed the Government could do so within a “very rapid timescale.”
In recent months, the Government ramped up its commitments to green initiatives.
In late May, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy announced it would inject a £166.5million cash boost into green technologies in a bid to “help the UK meet its world-leading climate targets”.
This announcement came just six months on from the publication of the Prime Minister’s 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution.
The Government detailed the multi-million pound investment would be: “awarded to innovators, businesses, academics and heavy industry right across the UK, [accelerating] the delivery of the critical game-changing technologies needed to further drive Britain’s climate change ambitions, while creating over 60,000 jobs across the UK.”
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Energy Minister, commented on the Government’s efforts at the time.
Ms Trevelyan said: “We are determined to tackle climate change and make it win-win for both our planet and our economy.
“Today’s major cash boost – targeted at our most polluting industries – will encourage the rapid development of the technologies we need to reign in our emissions and transition to a green economy, one that reduces costs for business, boosts investment and create jobs.
“Just six months ago, the Prime Minister set out a clear 10 point plan for creating and supporting up to 250,000 British jobs as we level up and build back greener from the pandemic.
“Today we’re boosting our armoury for the fight against climate change and backing innovators and businesses to create green jobs right across the United Kingdom.”
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