Government urged to ban sale of gas boilers within a decade

New and replacement gas boilers should be banned by 2033, two years earlier than current plans, according to the government’s net zero tsar.

Conservative MP Chris Skidmore believes it should make the decision to decarbonise homes by next year to help the country meet its climate change goals. His review found that the average household could save between £400 and £6,000 a year through the move to net zero, mainly from switching petrol and diesel for electric cars, as well as swapping boilers for heat pumps.

Upfront price

About 1.8 million gas boilers are sold annually in the UK, compared with only 55,000 heat pumps last year. Skidmore said the earlier date would reduce the upfront price of the pumps, which cost between £7,000 and £13,000, according to The Times.

“Bringing the mandate of no new gas boilers forward from 2035 to 2033 helps households save money by doing this sooner rather than later,” Skidmore said.

Longer-term funding

Such a move would radically update the government’s target of installing 600,000 heat pumps annually by 2028.

Government should also mandate landlords to include ‘average bill cost’ alongside EPC ratings when letting out a property, according to the report. This would help renters understand what costs to expect, while also helping to put a premium on energy efficient homes.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme has already faced criticism that landlords would need longer-term funding to help them meet energy efficiency targets. Using BUS, they can get £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump, £5,000 for an air source heat pump, and £5,000 for a biomass boiler.

Meeting deadline

The NRLA recently slammed the government for having no chance of meeting the deadline to improve EPC ratings (improving new tenancies to a band C by 2025 and existing tenancies by 2028) following its failure to respond to a consultation which closed two years ago.

Chris Norris, NRLA policy director, tells LandlordZONE that talk of changing to heat pumps is somewhat meaningless, without first understanding what the government expects in relation to the energy efficiency of rented housing. “As of yet we await confirmation about what that will be, despite the government closing its consultation on this two years ago. 

“More broadly, the tax system needs a radical overhaul to support improvements to properties. It makes no sense that whilst replacing a broken gas boiler with another boiler is tax deductible, replacing it with a heat pump is not.”

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