Letters to the Editor

Letters: Heat Pumps – Just What is UK Government Policy?

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Following comments by Lord Callanan in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Mike Foster, Chief Executive of UK energy trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), explains why he has written to the Minister requesting urgent clarification of the government’s policy on heat pumps.

In his newspaper article, Lord Callanan, Minister at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, states, “nobody’s going to be forced to ditch their boiler” and that forcing “households to replace gas boilers with heat pumps would be against the British character.”

While agreeing with the statements, EUA points out that it is current Government policy for fossil fuel boilers to be replaced by heat pumps. He has now demanded urgent clarification of what current policy is.

Lord Callanan’s words are welcome. We agree with them. Nobody should be forced to ditch their boiler and to force a heat pump onto households does go against the British character. But the Minister’s own department are pursuing a policy that directly contradicts what the Minister has said.

In the Heat and Building Strategy it is clearly stated that from 2026 those homes off the gas grid will not be allowed to install a new oil or LPG boiler. This forces households to ditch their boiler. Yet now the Minister says he is against his own policy.

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Officials in the Minister’s own department have described off gas grid homes as ‘low hanging fruit’, easy to pick off and have a heat pump installed to replace a boiler. For those currently using a gas boiler, the Heat and Buildings Strategy identified 2035 as the date after which a gas boiler could not be installed. Has this deadline now been scrapped to?

We need to clarify the situation urgently. Consumers need to know what the future holds for them, as does industry. One minute gas boilers are being banned, the next it is against the British character to do this. It’s chaos. Whether you make boilers, heat pumps or both, confusion is the very last thing needed.

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Mike Foster

Mike Foster is the Chief Executive of UK energy trade body, Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA). Founded in 1905, the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) is a not-for-profit trade association that provides a leading industry voice to help shape the future policy direction within the sector.

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