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Bob Ward Wants To Phase Out Gas Central Heating & Cookers

December 18, 2015

By Paul Homewood 




The property world looks set to be facing an enormous upheaval following the climate change deal in Paris which could see the end of cooking and heating with gas in the UK.

Gas hobs, cookers, fires and boilers could all be phased out within 15 years, with households dumping appliances.

All gas-fired power stations must also close by the mid-2030s, unless they manage to remove CO2 from their emissions.

Around 23m British homes use gas, but the Government wants to see far less reliance on it.

Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute of Climate Change, said that to meet Britain’s commitment to the climate change deal, the days of using gas are numbered.

He said: “Gas cookers will be phased out, probably as soon as possible.

“I suspect manufacturers will simply stop making them.”

The Government is keen for greater take-up of alternative technologies such as heat pumps, and intermittent wind and solar power, in which there would be different energy tariffs charged depending on, for example, whether the day is bright and breezy or overcast and still.

The implications for people buying, selling, renting and letting homes will be enormous if the present and future governments follow through.

Landlords, for example, who are considering refurbishing properties may already want to start thinking about the heating and cooking systems they should put in.

As the 15 years go by, homes with gas central heating could be worth less.

In addition, the EPC industry is likely to be thrown into turmoil, as at present gas systems count for more than electrical ones.

Critics are also pointing out that if 23m homes chuck out all their gas appliances in the next 15 years, that will be an awful lot of landfill.


I am not sure what Bob Ward, who is paid to disseminate global warming propaganda, means by to meet Britain’s commitment to the climate change deal, as it is obvious that the UK is already doing far more than its share.

But let’s consider his proposal.

For a start, we need to recognise that the consumption of natural gas by domestic users is equivalent in energy terms to the total electricity generated in the UK. According to DECC, in the cold weather of 2010, domestic gas consumption amounted to 389 TWh. In comparison, total electricity supplied to all users, not just domestic, was 339 TWh.

If all domestic users are to be switched from gas to electric, demand for the latter would therefore more than double. And this at a time when conventional power stations, including, as Ward suggests, gas ones, are being shut down.

The switch would also take place against a background of rapidly rising electricity prices.


Then there is the question of how the changeover from gas is to be achieved. DECC has published many strategic plans, showing how this should be moved forward, for instance here. However, these plans, promoting heat pumps, biomass and heat networks, all seem to have been written by civil servants who don’t have the slightest idea of how the real world operates.

In reality, people simply have shown no interest in changing. I posed the question a couple of years ago of how the government could “persuade” householders to switch to the new technology, and arrived at three conclusions:


1) Heavily subsidise new technology – but this is simply not affordable

2) Artificially increase the cost of current systems, by taxing either natural gas or conventional boilers, or both

3) Compulsion.


None are very pretty.

  1. Ian Magness permalink
    December 18, 2015 6:01 pm

    What a total load of delusional crap. Precisely zero chance of it happening.

  2. December 18, 2015 6:08 pm

    Yet another expensive fix to a fictitious problem!

    • December 21, 2015 2:02 am

      Adding CO2 is very effective in a positive way…!
      We are greening the Earth..!
      Let’s get from 400 to 450ppm soon..!
      San Diego dreamer…

  3. robert stitt permalink
    December 18, 2015 6:11 pm

    no one would stand for this surely

  4. Charlie Moncur permalink
    December 18, 2015 6:19 pm

    I have never read so much garbage!!! Which tree is this monkey swinging from? There is no Paris Agreement. The world will still use fossil fuels post 2035 and beyond. Get a grip.

  5. December 18, 2015 6:39 pm

    Bob Ward (he of the heavily AGW persuasion) is talking complete nonsense. The UK is about to invest heavily in fracking for shale oil and gas to bring about a revolution in lower-carbon, cheaper energy. Gas will continue to exist within the energy mix until nuclear can shoulder the burden of providing durable energy security. Luckily for Bob he has made his fictitious policy claims in a periodical that few people have ever heard of, because the manufacturers of gas appliances, fittings, fixtures, pipelines and storage facilities would in all probability sue him for gazillions!

  6. markl permalink
    December 18, 2015 6:47 pm

    Typical shoot, ready, aim from the Warmist Cult/Environmentalists. The whole “biomass” movement has already been used….out of necessity….by several countries and it only resulted in denuding the land of trees which in turn removed animal habitat and devastated watershed further impacting food and energy sources.

  7. December 18, 2015 7:05 pm

    I believe this was planned for new homes by the last UK govt (the Lib Dem part of it), there was going to be a requirement for “zero carbon”, this was ditched by George Osborne, making new build houses a lot cheaper than they would otherwise be. I wonder if this had anything to do with the lack of house building in the last 5 years.

    The UK should cherish its gas network, providing CLEAN energy for cooking and heating, allowing it to avoid the smogs that plague China and India, apart from the residual “green” smog resulting from diesel vehicles and wood-burners.

    • Bloke down the pub permalink
      December 18, 2015 7:29 pm

      My understanding too was that the proposal only related to new build homes. There was nothing in them stopping the retro-fit of gas either. One other benefit of gas that I haven’t seen mentioned so far is that it is storable, something that the pie in the sky merchants must address before they reach their utopia.

      • Joe Public permalink
        December 19, 2015 10:00 am

        ‘One other benefit of gas that I haven’t seen mentioned so far is that it is storable,…..”

        You’ve hit it in one.

        “(The Rough field alone) has a storage capacity of 3.31 billion cubic metres which is approximately 70% of the UK’s gas storage capacity (approximately 9 days supply). Rough can supply 10% of the UK’s peak gas demand”


        Linepack, the gas within the (UK’s) National Transmission System is equivalent to ~2-3 day’s consumption. Maybe ~5.7TWh.

        Eat your heart out Elon Musk and those who consider storing electricity will be the best thing since sliced bread.

  8. Ben Vorlich permalink
    December 18, 2015 7:25 pm

    Don’t forget that as well as heating and cooking with renewable energy we’ll be charging 20+ million electric vehicles as well.

    I read somewhere that the proposal for heating is to use heat pumps. In most cities I imagine this will be to air sourced heat pumps at £10K a pop considering that modern houses have postage stamp gardens. This should solve the UHI issue for the winter months (September to May). The minimum operating temperature is -15’C then in severe winters in various parts of the UK in the severest winters an alternative is required. I assume efficiency drops away as temperature approaches the minimum. In this part of France we’ve had temperatures of -20’C for more than a couple of nights three winters in the last 12.

    When is someone who can add up numbers going to question this stupidity.

  9. December 18, 2015 7:25 pm

    Bob Ward is an engineering denier.

  10. saveenergy permalink
    December 18, 2015 7:40 pm

    I wonder if they’ve thought how to control 60milion cold hungry people, l can see a civil war starting.

    You can see why the Americans wont give up their guns how ever many massacres there are !!

    • December 18, 2015 8:57 pm

      To quote Thomas Jefferson, upon whom most Americans dote right smart:

      “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

      “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

      The Founding Fathers understood very well…….

  11. Stonyground permalink
    December 18, 2015 7:52 pm

    Can’t we persuade idiots like Ward to build themselves a zero carbon eco town and then make them live in it? They will, of course, have to do without anything that has been produced using fossil fuels or nuclear power. That way they would have to either come to their senses or die of cold and starvation, a win either way.

    • J Martin permalink
      December 20, 2015 7:20 pm


  12. Mark Hodgson permalink
    December 18, 2015 7:59 pm

    Most of the population – even those who, if asked, would describe themselves as “green” – are blissfully unaware that this type of madness is what the eco-zealots have in store for them. I’m hoping that if and when it dawns on the great British public just how mad these people are – and the implications for the great British public arising from that madness also dawn on them – that the whole insane pack of cards will come tumbling down,

  13. December 18, 2015 8:01 pm

    I can see this coming to the UK via a Labour/Lib Dem/Green anti-Tory alliance at the next election (or the one after if it fails). The “Greens” will insist on being in charge of energy, and just look at what they have done to Germany.

  14. manicbeancounter permalink
    December 18, 2015 8:02 pm

    It is possible to obtain the switch from gas to electric be a combination of taxation and subsidies. But the levels would required would be astronomic. Phasing out fossil fuels, and going over to renewables would easily double the cost of electricity. Gas, per kilowatt hour is about a third of electricity. The rate would have to be around 500%. With such a markup, there would be a strong incentive to make the use of gas more efficient. In addition people would be willing to pay more for gas as, unlike renewables it can be supplied 24/7.
    Another thing is that gas prices are set to come down. With shale gas it will remain cheaper for decades to come.
    No elected government in a liberal democracy is going to push through this nonsense. They may do all the talk, but it is far easier to re-model the figures and leave the unpopular policies to the next government.

    • December 18, 2015 9:56 pm

      There is another hidden issue in Ward’s madness. High efficiency gas furnaces run 90-95%. I just had one installed in my Chicago townhome. The best CCGT for electricity is 61%. Going electric produces 150% more CO2. Ward cannot be dumb enough to think it feasible to heat and cook in the UK winter using wind and solar, can he? Perhaps he should be invited to lead the way by example. You all can then posthumously give him a Darwin award. (These are given to those who do humanity a service by removing themselves from the gene pool in stupid ways.)

      • manicbeancounter permalink
        December 18, 2015 11:23 pm

        Bob Ward is hardly mad. He just does not think things through and has spent a lot of his time attacking people who do. If he was properly concerned about reducing global emissions, he would do the maths, and realize the UK produces less than 1.5% of global emissions.

  15. Fred permalink
    December 18, 2015 8:04 pm

    Ward is the poster boy for monetizing the Eco Greenie Climate Change All Doom, All Gloom Porn industry.

    An amusing nutter.

  16. December 18, 2015 8:08 pm

    Pah! For anyone in Britain living below the 1000 foot contour, central heating is for sissies.

  17. Dave Ward permalink
    December 18, 2015 8:17 pm

    “Bob Ward is an engineering denier”

    “Idiots like Ward”

    It’s at times like this that I regret sharing the same surname as this utter lunatic… I suppose that somewhere down the line I must be related!

    • December 19, 2015 12:20 am

      He is clearly the decayed branch of your line

    • Steve C permalink
      December 19, 2015 12:25 pm

      Y’know, I have exactly the same problem with John Cook …

  18. December 18, 2015 8:58 pm

    It appears that when it comes to the question of Climate Change and AGW, the world leaders have gone bonkers and have lost all common sense along with the little logic that had left!

    • CheshireRed permalink
      December 19, 2015 11:20 am

      ^^^^^^ This ^^^^^^

  19. December 18, 2015 9:47 pm

    Just out of curiosity, I wonder just how the geniuses in charge propose to eliminate 87% of power that is currently generated by use of fossil fuels? To do so in fifteen years will require a miracle or one heck of a magician!

  20. Joe Public permalink
    December 18, 2015 10:26 pm

    Whoever suggests phasing out gas-fired boilers is a total f@cking ignoramus, with no conception of efficiency-at-point-of-use.

    A gas-fired power station produces power at ~ 40/50/60% efficiency. Then that power suffers transmission losses ~6% by the time it reaches the home.

    Burning natural gas in a domestic boiler achieves point-of-application efficiency of ~75-80%; a modern condensing boiler is 90% efficient.

    The other probably-overlooked aspect of the ‘dispense with gas’ brigade is the fact that the UK’s electricity grid infrastructure probably wouldn’t be able to cope.

    In 2014, GB gas demand was 835TWh vs 345TWh for power demand; and, only 20% of the gas demand was by gas fired power stations.

    Bob Ward’s proposal is actually arse-about-face: To minimise CO2 and maximise useful-heat production, ban the use of gas for bulk power generation, and sell it only to domestic & non-domestic consumers who maximise its efficiency at point of use.

    • Alberto Zaragoza Comendador permalink
      December 18, 2015 10:51 pm

      Another way to look at it is take the 389TWh of domestic gas consumption and see how much renewable capacity would have to be installed . Let’s up this to 410TWh to account for transmission and distribution losses.

      410,000GWh / (365 x 24) = 46.8GW. But hey, wait a sec – the wind doesn’t blow all the time.

      Assuming average renewable load factor of 20%, phasing out domestic gas would take an additional 234GW. That’s before you throw the renewables needed to power electric vehicles, or to displace coal/gas/nuclear.

      Renewable capacity additions have been about 3GW/year of late:

      So at the current rate, displacing domestic gas with renewables, assuming you don’t increase electricity use for anything else and you don’t try to displace nuclear and fossil fuels, would take 78 years. (And in fact the ‘current rate’ for solar is a lot less due to the subsidy phase-out!)

  21. Mr_T-M permalink
    December 18, 2015 10:45 pm

    This is just going to cause Millions of deaths!
    Genocidal policies for when cooling kicks in…. to state the “Bleedin’ obvious”.

  22. catweazle666 permalink
    December 18, 2015 10:59 pm

    This will cause riots.

    My tariffs are currently 12.545p per kWh for electricity and 3.817p per kWh for gas.

    Over a 12 month period, my gas costs around £40 per month.

    So if I had to use electricity for all my heating, that would be around a £90 per month increase in my total tariff – taking my gas bill up to around £130.

    And given that my usage probably at the lower end of the range, I can see a LOT of people – especially the elderly and those with very young children will be hit very hard by such a policy.

  23. December 18, 2015 11:28 pm

    Thank heavens I moved to Hong Kong 5 years ago to escape idiots like Ward. I like it warm, although right now it is about 10C which without heating is about my limit. 😰

  24. Paul2 permalink
    December 18, 2015 11:45 pm

    Bob Ward sounds like someone hooked on legal highs.

  25. Mike Sugar permalink
    December 19, 2015 1:23 am

    Who needs the genocidal DAESH-BAGS when the eco-loons will do a much better job of legally accomplishing a greater erasure of humanity?

  26. December 19, 2015 1:56 am

    Perfect example of the Peter Principle in practice: Bob Ward has risen to his level of incompetence.

    • flaxdoctor permalink
      December 19, 2015 6:21 pm

      Given Ward’s track record of abject failure, that level was probably attained at birth.

  27. AndyG55 permalink
    December 19, 2015 4:40 am

    So, on cloudy, windless days, the UK will be relying on 6-10 million (plus?) diesel generators.. all made in China.

    And of course , the very first place that should be disconnected from the gas supply is Parliament House.

    • December 19, 2015 12:33 pm

      China does not make diesel generators certifiable for the UK of the size and configuration necessary to synchronise to the grid. Hi tech is not China which is why all the windmills are slowly but surly failing well before their designed life. This process will accelerate .

      • saveenergy permalink
        December 19, 2015 12:47 pm

        Peter, why are European& American windpins failing at ~ the same rate as the Chinese ones ??

        Having had some experience with Chinese engineering, unfortunately (for us) they can do ‘Hi-Tech’ very well,
        But if you pay for crap you get crap !!

      • December 20, 2015 11:21 pm

        They are failing because western companies have farmed out the manufacture of the mechanical components to the Chinese. When it comes to gearboxes in windmills there is more to it than meets the eye. Anyone can make a gearbox that would never fail, but it would also have high parasitic loses. To enable wind power to even pretend to compete they have had to go large, which means gearing the rotor down and using exotic alloys of steel to ensure life expectations in the transmission.. As I understand it the Chinese are a little cavalier with their steel as to do it properly costs, and for them to compete they have to be cheaper which does not leave them much margin. Engineering head in the sand stuff.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        December 21, 2015 12:29 am

        It is not commonly understood just how dirty fluid dynamic loads can get, what with turbulene effects, cavitation and all sorts of fluttering and harmonics, all of which feed straight back into the transmission.

        Also, a massive problem with wind turbine engineering is the bearings.

        Basically, it’s the good old square-cube problem, the bearing area only rises to the square of the size, the mass of the rotating components rises to the cube.

        Then there is the problem of ‘false brinelling’.

        That’s just for starters…

  28. December 19, 2015 9:31 am

    “Gas cookers will be phased out, probably as soon as possible.

    “I suspect manufacturers will simply stop making them.”

    Bob Ward should be phased out as soon as possible. The man is a complete idiot and someone actually employs him as well, more money than sense!

  29. Jack Dawkins permalink
    December 19, 2015 11:32 am

    The people who maintain that CO2 causes climate change don’t realise how stupid they sound. As any Pastafarian will tell you, the climate is controlled not by CO2, but by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It is thought he does this using Russell’s Teapot, which orbits the Sun between the orbits of Earth and Mars.

    In other words, the practice of declaring an unfalsifiable theory such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Russell’s Teapot or anthropogenic climate change to be scientifically true is actually known as pseudoscience.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      December 19, 2015 12:16 pm

      Are you saying that Bob Ward should put a plate of cold spaghetti on his head and run around saying “I’m a little teapot” or do you think he has done so?

  30. AlecM permalink
    December 19, 2015 12:49 pm

    Remember: these changes, driven by IPCC pseudoscience, are to enrich the elite who own renewables and want carbon trading based on that fake scienc., also the contractors in on the game.

    Ward is a paid shill for Jeremy Grantham, the hedge fund boss and would be carbon trader.

  31. john in cheshire permalink
    December 19, 2015 3:20 pm

    It seems to me that this is all part of the plan, voiced several years ago by the psychopaths in positions of power and influence, to move us from a demand driven economy to one based on control of supply. These people are are not stupid they are evil. As to believing that the general public will not put up with rationing of heating and lighting, I’d say oh, yes they will. Until a warrior leader emerges to inspire enough ordinary people, probably through fear of him, to fight against our oppressors, things will just keep getting worse.

  32. December 19, 2015 7:32 pm

    I read somewhere that the Govt. is putting the gas grid up for sale.Dangerous!!

  33. December 19, 2015 7:48 pm

    Time to phase out the likes of Bob Ward and get back to sanity.

  34. JohnOfEnfield permalink
    January 5, 2016 9:35 pm

    Unfortunately Ward & his cronies have already taken the UK where our electricity generating capacity is incapable to meeting the demands of a winner such as 1947. A stable anticyclone over Scotland for six weeks (not unusual) in Jan & Feb could lead to demand that could not be met (no wind &, would you believe, no sun). Planned closures to base load power stations wil significantly increase the risk in the coming years. We are facing a potential disaster already. No electricity to a home also means no gas can be used either. It is fascinating to realise that DECC’s forecast were based on the price of gas doubling since 2008 when it has in fact halved and looks set to go lower still. Ward & his ilk might be mad but by Jove, they have been incredibly effective in destroying the basis of our civilisation.

  35. Russell permalink
    January 8, 2016 12:28 pm

    I wonder how much money Ward is getting to push warmist propaganda? How much of this torture are we expected to take? Closing power plants with no replacement? It’s time to pitch ALL government leaders and start over. If WWII started today our country would not survive with the attitude of our current “leadership”.

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