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Banning gas boilers won't solve climate change challenge

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22 Feb 2019
Press Office

Press Office

Banning gas boilers from new homes is not the way to solve the UK’s climate change challenge, says GMB

A report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said that from 2025 at the latest, no new homes should be connected to the gas grid – with super-efficient houses and flats heated using low-carbon energy instead.

Currently 1.5 million new gas boilers are fitted in the UK each year and 80% of the UK’s 26 million homes receiving gas.

GMB recognises the UK must up its game in respect of its climate change commitments under the Paris Treaty.

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer

Gas is four times cheaper than electricity, and homes with a gas supply are 1 and half times less likely to be in fuel poverty.

With current Government policy on new nuclear and renewable energy all over the place; gas will be essential to meeting UK energy demands for many years to come.

For the 12 months from 7 March 2017, every one in 5.6 days was a low wind day (65 days in total) when the output of the installed and connected wind turbines in the UK produced less than 10% of their installed and connected capacity for more than half of the day. For 341 days in the year, solar output was below 10% of installed capacity for more than half of the day. 

pollution

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer, said:

“GMB recognises the UK must up its game in respect of its climate change commitments under the Paris Treaty. That will require greater effort to decarbonise heat and transport and accelerate the 43% cut in greenhouse gas emissions against the 1990 baseline figure.

“Gas can and must play a greater part in that drive going forward and initiatives to inject greater use of low carbon gases, such as hydrogen, into our gas distribution system must to brought forward and receive the necessary investment from government.

“If the UK is going to retrofit the 26 million existing homes across the UK to be made low carbon - which is UK infrastructure policy - convincing the public to rip out a perfectly good heating system and install expensive to run ground source heat pumps is simply bonkers!"

Pylons

“The report does recognise the need for better thermal efficiency in terms of retrofitting of homes and new builds which is both sensible and welcome.

“However we already have the a highly skilled workforce of gas engineers and related disciplines that able to meet the challenge of converting our gas network from methane to green gases such as hydrogen.

“The British public are not fools will not support any government that does not keep the lights on or provide affordable options for heating our homes, whilst meeting our climate change commitments.”

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