Home gas fittings ban “not the way” to solve climate challenge, union warns

22nd February 2019 | Residential Energy

Banning the fitting of all gas boilers from 2025 is “not the way” to solve the UK climate challenge, a workers union has warned. GMB Union said today with nuclear and renewables energy “all over the place”, gas will be required for the UK to meet its energy demand. The union’s national chief described the proposal to rip out old boilers in favour of new heat pumps as “simple bonkers”.

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.”

Mr Fegan was referring to a report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) that suggested that from 2025 at the latest, no new homes should be connected to the gas grid. However, he believes that other newer forms of energy are currently too intermittent to be relied upon.

Mr Fegan said, “The report does recognise the need for better thermal efficiency terms of retrofitting of homes and new builds which is both sensible and welcome. However, we already have a highly skilled workforce of gas engineers and related disciplines that are able to meet the challenge of converting our gas network from methane to green gases such as hydrogen. The British public are not fools and 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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