By Paul Homewood
h/t Ian Magness
The head of the climate watchdog behind the planned boiler ban has admitted that he still has gas heating in his own home.
More than four years after claiming he was “keen” to convert to electric heating in his flat, Chris Stark, the chief executive of the Climate Change Committee, said he still has a gas boiler.
“I wish I didn’t,” added Mr Stark.
The Committee on Climate Change lobbied the Government to bring in a ban on the installation of gas boilers in new homes from 2025, with the sale of new gas boilers banned altogether from 2035 as a result of the committee’s recommendations.
The committee and Government hope that electric heat pumps can be installed instead in many homes.
Questioned by MPs about how the 2035 target could be met when heat pumps remain unaffordable for most people, Mr Stark admitted that he still had a gas boiler in his Glasgow flat.
He warned that the cost of heat pumps remained too high and said it was “very difficult” to install heat pumps in existing flats like his.
Appearing before the House of Commons environmental audit committee last month, Mr Stark said: “The capital cost of it is too high at the moment.
“It can be brought down, but that will not happen unless there is scale installation and scale production. That is one of the biggest barriers. There is not an installer community for heat pumps at the moment.”
He went on: “I have a gas boiler. I wish I didn’t, but I live in a flat and heat pumps are a very difficult thing to put in there.”
Mr Stark said his own boiler engineer was sceptical about the application of heat pumps.
“The gas boiler guy who comes round and fixes my gas boiler – it breaks very often – tells me they will never work,” he said.
“That is a problem – and he knows what I do. If we do not have an installer community out there selling the benefits of this, and if we do not have support for it to bring down the capital cost so that we see the benefits in their use – there are widespread benefits, there is a huge system benefit to using them as well – then it won’t work.”
Mr Stark also suggested that the Government should consider tax incentives to make running heat pumps more affordable.
“The one policy that would make this really sing is to have cheaper electricity,” he said.
“In the round, we should be moving to a world where we are producing all this very cheap low-carbon electricity, but the consumer is not yet seeing the benefit of that.
“You can put a penalty in place and you can remove that penalty with the tax system, so there are tools at the disposal of the Treasury to try to skew this move towards electrified heat, which will make heat pumps themselves much cheaper to use and run.”
In recent weeks, the Government has faced calls from some Conservative MPs to slow down aspects of the transition to net zero, including the 2025 boiler ban in new homes.
The hypocrisy of the man is astonishing!
If it is “difficult” to install heat pumps in his flat, what about all the other millions of homes which are in a similar position?
And maybe he should be taking the advice of his own boiler engineer who says heat pumps are not a solution.
Stark still thinks the answer is to use taxpayers’ money to subsidise their own heat pumps! In any event we already know that £5000 subsidies have had little effect on heat pump sales.
And cheaper electricity? Does he not know that electricity is so expensive because the high cost of renewable energy?
Perhaps Chris Stark should go on a course to teach him joined up thinking!
Ironically I asked the CCC a few weeks ago to give me a list of board members who have heat pumps. They told me they do not hold the information.
I therefore call on them now to formally request that each member voluntarily provide this information.