Labour to scrap ban on gas boilers in blow to heat pump rollout: 'We're in a cost of living crisis!'

Ed Miliband and gas boiler

Labour is not keeping the proposed gas boiler ban

PA
Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell


Published: 23/06/2024

- 12:18

The Tories have previously promised to stop the rollout of traditional gas boilers in new builds in lieu of heat pumps

The existing gas boiler ban in favour of heat pumps will be scrapped if the Labour Party wins the General Election, according to Shadow Energy Secretary Ed Miliband.



Heat pumps have been considered as a viable option to bring down energy bills and reach Net Zero goals. Currently, the Conservative-led Government has pledged to phase out traditional boilers with the environmentally-friendly devices despite concerns over the cost of installations.

Earlier this year, Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho confirmed the planned gas boiler ban on new build homes would be postponed from 2025 to 2035 to the ire of climate change campaigners.

However, Labour has appeared to have gone a step further and axed the proposed ban all together as families continue to struggle with the ongoing cost of living crisis.

However, Miliband has promised his hopes to decarbonise Britain's energy supply by rolling out more onshore wind turbines across the UK.

Nearly all heat generated to keep Britons warm comes from traditional gas boilers installed in 25 million homes and oil-powered alternatives fitted into up to million overs.

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Energy billThe cost of living crisis has pushed energy bills to new heights in recent years GETTY

The Shadow Cabinet Minister said Labour is still committed to rolling out heat pumps in homes but noted any future Government will have to do more to convince families it is a worthwhile investment.

Speaking to The Telegraph, he said: "On home heating – as we said in our manifesto – no one’s going to be forced to rip out their boiler. We’re absolutely clear about that. We haven’t stuck with the Government’s 2035 target when you can’t replace your gas boiler.

"I know that we’ve got to show that heat pumps are affordable and are going to work for people. Now for lots of people, including me, heat pumps are already working. I’ve got a heat pump and a battery, But it’s got to work economically for everyone.

"We’ve gone through a cost of living crisis, we’re still going through a cost of living crisis. So we cannot do this in a way that means ordinary people end up paying more for this. And that’s what our government, if we’re in power, is going to be absolutely focused on.”

Even though Labour are not keeping to the current Government's timeline for a gas boiler ban, Miliband did praise the Tories for introducing the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to help install heat pumps in thousands of households.

Under this initiative, families can apply for grants to support heat pumps and biomass boilers being fitted into their homes and don-domestic buildings in England and Wales.

Currently, installers are able to apply for the following amounts in supoort, with £450million in funding being ringfenced for the scheme between 2022 and 2025:

  • £7,500 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump
  • £7,500 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump, including water source heat pumps
  • £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler.

Miliband added: "“I’ll be honest, I think one good thing the current government did, among a number of bad things, was to increase the heat pump grant to £7,500.

“Our heat pump take-up is absolutely miserable in comparison to other countries. We want to make it economically worthwhile for people, working with the private sector, to actually install heat pumps."

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:

Heat pumpThe Government wants 600,000 heat pumps a year to be installed by 2028PA

Households have been forced to contend with historically high energy bills amid the cost of living crisis

However, Ofgem's energy price cap between 1 July to 30 September 2024 will fall to £1,568 per year for a typical household who use electricity and gas and pay by Direct Debit.

This is £122 lower than the cap set between 1 April to 30 June 2024 at £1,690.

Despite this, energy costs are expected to rise once again later in the year in the winter months.

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