Essay by Eric Worrall
According to The Guardian, 2 million adults in the UK can’t afford to eat every day. But greens have no problem advocating financial coercion to force people to install a heat pump.
How heating your home fuels climate change – and why government measures are failing to stop it
Published: July 3, 2023 9.15pm AEST
The UK’s housing stock is old, energy inefficient and heavily reliant on fossil fuel heating systems – mainly gas boilers. With heating responsible for 17% of the UK’s carbon emissions, homes and their central heating must transform if the country is to achieve net zero by 2050.
Ban the boiler?
Launched in 2022 under Boris Johnson, the boiler upgrade scheme offers homeowners a £5,000 grant to replace their gas boiler with an air-source heat pump (£6,000 for a ground-source heat pump) and aims to lower the cost difference between the two. Installing a new combi-boiler costs between £600 and £2,150 whereas a heat pump is £5,000 to £8,000 after the government subsidy.
The government also plans to implement a clean heat market mechanism that will ask boiler manufacturers to sell four heat pumps for every 100 gas boilers in 2024/25, or pay for the equivalent in heat pump credits if they can’t (one heat pump credit is worth £5,000).
Beyond targets for boiler manufacturers, the UK government will ban natural gas boilers in new buildings from 2025. While Germany’s governing coalition is implementing a ban on installing gas boilers in existing properties from 2028.
Before such a ban is tabled in the UK, there are policies that could raise the dismal heat pump installation rate. First, like the Dutch, the UK could gradually lower taxes on residential electricity and increase them on gas.
…Read more: https://theconversation.com/how-heating-your-home-fuels-climate-change-and-why-government-measures-are-failing-to-stop-it-208518
Heat pumps don’t always work out, as the German Green Party learned the hard way. €5 million and counting, and they still haven’t got it right in their party headquarters in Berlin.
There are other big problems with the heat pump and home insulation push.
Britain is a very wet place, a lot of homes are sitting on soil which is always wet. Houses in such places, especially older houses, are built with hollow walls and lots of exterior air vents, so any moisture drawn into the house structure can be vented before it does damage.
If you fill these hollow spaces with insulation, and stop the moisture from being expelled from the house, a lot of bad things can happen, both to the houses and to the occupants. Aside from the obvious problems of living in a dripping damp house, one of the worst case outcomes, the newly installed cavity insulation can wick up so much ground moisture, it swells and causes structural damage, eventually bursting the interior or even the exterior walls of the home.
But the biggest problem, tax or other coercion is not going to force compliance from people who are so poor they cannot afford to eat regularly. All extra taxes will do is add to their misery.
This could all have been so different. Instead of punishing poor people, with one permit the British Government could alleviate Britain’s energy poverty misery.
Britain, especially Lancashire, is sitting on top of a vast reserve of frackable gas. Caudrilla boss Francis Egan has been begging the British Government for over a decade to let him drill, to provide energy security, stimulate manufacturing, and provide cheaper energy and to bring down domestic gas bills. But other than a brief respite under Prime Minister Liz Truss, British politicians have chosen for over a decade to throw poor people overboard, to let ordinary people suffer for the sake of their political climate fantasies.