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Watch Out, They’re Coming For Your Boiler!!

October 15, 2019

By Paul Homewood

h/t oldbrew


Well done Roger, you’re only six months late!!


The UK will not meet its climate change targets without a revolution in home heating, a think tank says.

A report from the cross-party Policy Connect says gas central heating boilers also threaten the UK’s clean air goals.

But a poll conducted among MPs suggests that most do not consider pollution from home heating to be a priority.

That is despite the fact 14% of UK greenhouse gases come from our homes, a similar level to emissions from cars.

In major cities gas boilers are also a main source of nitrogen dioxide emissions.

The government wants low-carbon heat systems to be standard for all new homes built after 2025.

But that will still leave the vast majority of existing homes in the UK with polluting heat systems.

A spokesman for the Treasury said a plan to support the move to sustainable heating systems would go out to consultation later this year.

The task is huge. Policy Connect says more than 20,000 homes a week must switch to low-carbon heating between 2025 and 2050 to meet UK climate goals.

The think tank says many innovations need to be pursued. They include smart systems and controls; more use of the "internet of things"; hydrogen boilers; biogas; electric heat and direct infrared heat among others. …

A report from the advisory Committee on Climate Change said it would cost £4,800 to install low-carbon heating in a new home, and £26,300 in an existing house.


As readers will know, I flagged up this issue in April, after the CCC published its latest plan.

And whatever solution you go for, one thing is certain – it will cost a fortune.

With about 27 million homes in the country, £26300 adds up to a mind boggling £710 bn. Even spread over 25 years this is still totally unaffordable.

And that’s before factoring in higher running costs, which all of the proffered “solutions” involve.

And all for what?

With so many demands on the public purse, is it surprising that the government is getting cold feet? Much better to kick the can down the road.


According to Harrabin, Policy Connect said future heating systems might also need to supply home cooling as UK temperatures rise along with climate change.


What rising temperatures?

  1. Nicholas Pleasure permalink
    October 15, 2019 11:20 am

    I’m quite relaxed about this one. I would expect to change my gas boiler at least once, maybe twice before 2050. If someone can invent something better and more efficient that runs on something else then that will be great.

    There are some technologies out there at the moment that are in their infancy and currently very expensive. The tech will improve and the price will fall as more people adopt them.

    I would be amazed if we can’t beat the early 20th century tech of the gas boiler before 2050!

    Whilst we might dispute the science of climate change, some of the innovations are excellent and should be adopted anyway. I quite like the idea that my boiler could double as aircon in the summer.

    • Michael McGill permalink
      October 15, 2019 1:48 pm

      Ahhhh, the objective, grounded, common sense approach….do you have a loicence for that, Sir?!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 15, 2019 2:54 pm

      So no-one’s beaten it in 100 years but you think it will get beaten in 30 years?

      No rally following the logic.

      Simple cheap stuff is really hard to beat.

    • H Davis permalink
      October 15, 2019 5:43 pm

      One problem is that you will probably not get a choice when you have to replace your boiler. The know it alls will arrange for their preferred alternative to be the cheapest (but still expensive) while the alternative you prefer because you have different needs or priorities will be very expensive.

  2. Carbon500 permalink
    October 15, 2019 11:23 am

    This sort of idiocy bothers me a lot. The British climate in the winter is cold, damp, and miserable – and a potential killer. How Theresa May and her cohorts ever came up with such a crackpot scheme beggars belief. We live on an island, and in my view need diverse and reliable forms of energy – gas, coal, and nuclear. Reliance on ever more complex integrated computer controlled systems is not the way to go. The simpler the better.

    • October 15, 2019 2:46 pm

      Has it occurred to you that it might be deliberate? These are people who are more concerned with ridding the world of human life and not preserving human life. Sir David said as much as have others.

      • Ariane permalink
        October 15, 2019 5:30 pm

        Joan, you have a point; one of the main points of this whole atrocious ‘environmentalist’ movement.

    • chaswarnertoo permalink
      October 15, 2019 3:39 pm

      Nothing potential about it. The last heavy snow caused 15,000 avoidable deaths on top of the expected 30,000. Heatwaves, a few 10s, many from drowning.

  3. jack broughton permalink
    October 15, 2019 11:23 am

    The lunacy that the UK could solve the imaginary climate emergency even if it were real is beyond sense. We hear commentators making totally unjustified claims all the time.

    My home central heating has begun working over two weeks earlier than normal, so I am not experiencing any “warming of the climate”!

  4. October 15, 2019 11:33 am

    Utter lunacy !! There is no climate emergency !!

  5. Dave Ward permalink
    October 15, 2019 11:46 am

    “The UK’s clean air goals”

    “UK climate goals”

    I’m getting mightily sick of hearing quotes like this. Who asked US – the voting and taxpaying public??? These are nothing more than UK Government goals, and the Brexit shambles has shown beyond a shadow of doubt that the government doesn’t give a flying fig about what the public wants. Over use of the term “We” is another example – meaning everyone else, but NOT me…

    • October 15, 2019 5:21 pm

      In answer to what was probably a rhetorical question: no-one asked us, and if they did, they would get an answer they didn’t like, so they won’t ask us at any point.

      Since both major parties are offering the same crazy option, there does not seem to be much hope in the ballot box either.

      Sad times for realists.

      • Ariane permalink
        October 15, 2019 5:34 pm

        The American Environmental Protection Agency did a great job at conflating polluting gases and carbon dioxide.

  6. Carbon500 permalink
    October 15, 2019 11:47 am

    Thanks for the Met Office link Paul – all warmists should look at this, and it’s an official source.
    I’ve got a copy of the Central England Temperature listing as well as rainfall data, but a graph makes much more instant impact – as Al Gore knows only too well………

  7. Chris Martin permalink
    October 15, 2019 12:11 pm

    The Irony of the ‘experts’ saying we may need home cooling in summer! I have read various research papers in the last year or two that say that in the UK the biggest problems with summer overheating have been in those homes built recently that are super-insulated as part of all the various green regulations hype! You couldn’t make it up!

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      October 15, 2019 5:27 pm

      One solution to buildings becoming too warm in summer due to insulation is not to let the heat in. External shutters as used in continental Europe. Not expensive and effective. Open windows in cool of morning close windows and shutters as day warms up. The installation will will aid maintenance of low temperature until outside temperature drops.

  8. mikewaite permalink
    October 15, 2019 12:42 pm

    Has Harrabin in his comment about the need for future home cooling taken sufficient notice of the expected future trend in AMO which affects North Atlantic climate and weather , according to :
    The AMO seems to be at the maximum of its positive phase and cooler weather, in our part of the World, would seem to be more likely than hotter conditions.

    • john cheshire permalink
      October 15, 2019 1:00 pm

      Henrik Svensmark says his studies tend to indicate temperatures are going to stabilise or fall marginally but he will probably know better in about ten years. That’s ten years of proper scientific study.

      These fake climate experts just know, by the power of emotion, that we’re all going to fry.

      Hmmm, who to choose; which side might have the more credible evidence, I wonder?

      • chaswarnertoo permalink
        October 15, 2019 3:42 pm

        I’m buying new skis. The warmists have never made a correct prediction.

      • Simon Kelly permalink
        October 15, 2019 5:05 pm

        Good plan on the skis. I did a season in the alps in 92/93 and it was a shocker for snow. We were walking on grass at 1,800m in February. I remember the end of the ski industry being predicted back then. The last two ski seasons have been pretty darn good and far far better than 92/93.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        October 15, 2019 5:33 pm

        The forecast today was for snow over 2000 metres in the Alps

      • Michael Adams permalink
        October 16, 2019 10:37 am

        Thats why XR talk about implementation of zero Co2 emissions by 2025. Given another 10 years of benign data might seriously damage their message.

  9. 2hmp permalink
    October 15, 2019 12:47 pm

    What has surprised and annoyed me over the years is the ignorance and the unwillingness to learn by MPs on the subject of CO2. Until people in authority, MPs and Councillors, learn the facts they will always make stupid and expensive decisions.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 15, 2019 1:38 pm

      It hasn’t surprised me as I encounter some of them through work – total morons. And to be added to them are the council officers who are also virtue-signalling fruitcakes. I always recall a comment made by Dr Richard North who used to hold ministers and MPs in high regard until he actually met them, and then found them to be lucky that breathing is automatic otherwise it would be too much of a challenge for them.

    • October 15, 2019 3:40 pm

      Too true! If they used their brains they would realise that the Earth’s atmosphere was once 20% CO2 so by their logic photosynthetic plants could never have evolved because it would have been too hot. The Left regard them as useful idiots, to me they are dangerous idiots determined to take us back medieval times.

    • chaswarnertoo permalink
      October 15, 2019 3:45 pm

      Facts? Does not compute. Policy drives ‘facts’ in snivel serpent world…..

    • October 15, 2019 7:10 pm

      Politicos don’t need to know anything. They just need an advisor to tell them what needs doing. Activists know this and have infiltrated the advise sector.

      • Ariane permalink
        October 15, 2019 7:13 pm

        Wilpretty, a good point about politicians’ advisors.

      • chaswarnertoo permalink
        October 16, 2019 10:51 am

        And the politicians are too dim to comprehend that they’ve been lied to.

  10. Ariane permalink
    October 15, 2019 12:48 pm

    Remember they have to warm their egos and satisfy their mad ideologies. All of it’s legislated for too. So until we have a referendum to repeal’or not repeal our climate legislation, end all the renewables obligations and disband the Climate Change Commiittee – there will be more of the same.

  11. Graeme No.3 permalink
    October 15, 2019 12:49 pm

    I have my doubts that any solution put forward by bureaucrats is of any use, especially one offered as a ‘solution’ to the outpourings of a journalist.
    And speaking of “overheating” the inhabitants of Alice Springs were left without electricity for 10 hours yesterday when the local temperature reached 38℃. A surprise? Well the local Electricians Union expressed alarm 6 months ago about the inevitable blackouts resulting from ‘government policy’. Only 29,000 people ‘inconvenienced’ but I suspect taking a jaundiced view about continuing the same policy. Not, for some reason, reported on the ABC (or as some think of it as BBC-lite).

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      October 15, 2019 2:00 pm

      ETU Territory organiser Dave “Strawbs” Hayes said the union and its members have been proactive in telling TGen management that their systems were not fit for purpose and that they needed to have Ron Goodin Power Station (RGPS) on active standby for exactly these eventualities.

      “The guys on the front line live and breathe this stuff and they have been saying for months that RGPS was prematurely closed and that Owen Springs was not adequately tested to ensure continuity of supply. They have been urging TGen to complete required maintenance on RGPS to keep the generator on active standby. These requests have been denied and instead of facing a blackout extending minutes at worst residents had to endure up to 9 1/2 hours in uncomfortable heat. It’s not on, TGen managers are playing Russian roulette with people’s lives.” Mr Hayes said.

      Further, the union called for local Alice Springs ETU members to be included on the government’s investigation panel, to ensure it does not end up as a sham.

      Union members also demanded;

      Immediate maintenance resources directed to Ron Goodin Power Station to repair identified out of service generation plant,
      Immediate repair of the water softening plant to ensure full generation output, currently restricted due to fouling of the engine cooling systems,
      Delay of the Cold Standby period of Ron Goodin Power Station until Owen Springs Power Station can be sufficiently tested under real world conditions,
      Delay the removal of RGPS operations personnel from a 24/7 shift.

      (one of the few Australian sources that allow you to view an article without an immediate subscription)

      Some detail of the NT system here:

  12. Ian Cook permalink
    October 15, 2019 12:53 pm

    I will be having a visit on the 25th regarding replacing my gas warm air heater/boiler with a …… warm air heater/boiler powered by gas. Should be more efficient, which will save cash on the bill. The rest is for the birds.

  13. Gerry, England permalink
    October 15, 2019 1:42 pm

    Is there an irony that most of these think tanks seem to be incapable of thought, especially rational thought. Policy Connect claim to be cross-party which just shows that Red Labour, Blue Labour and the Limp Dums are all the same anyway.

  14. Colin MacDonald permalink
    October 15, 2019 1:42 pm

    Roger’s at it again on BBC news at one, reporting” government subsidies for oil exploration”. Which could be true but needs to be balanced against the 50% tax take for oil production. What we know for sure is that the Beeb doesn’t give us the straight dope on eco policies, which is fine for me Graun but unacceptable for a State broadcaster mandated for impartiality.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 15, 2019 2:57 pm

      By which he means that companies get to write off the cost of exploration against their taxes. A wholly sensible and fair policy, not a subsidy.

      But then the BBC think anything less than 100% tax is a subsidy.

      • Bertie permalink
        October 15, 2019 3:46 pm

        Does the BBC pay any tax?! No, it is an unrelenting tax gatherer.

  15. Joe Public permalink
    October 15, 2019 2:13 pm


    According to Harrabin, Policy Connect said future heating systems might also need to supply home cooling as UK temperatures rise along with climate change.”

    Harrabin writes an oxymoron. Heating systems provide heating; HVAC & Heat Pump systems can provide cooling.

    Roger needn’t get his knickers in a twist about any significant cooling requirements as UK temperatures rise along with climate change. It’s noticed he omits to mention that a warming climate reduces the amount of space heating required.

    The ‘Heating Degree Days’ (HDD) (to 21 degC) for London (St James Park) are 3,231, and the ‘Cooling Degree Days’ (CDD) (to 24 degC) for London are 24.

    For London (and the rest of the UK), the UHI-effect increase the latter CDD, but have a far greater net beneficial effect of reducing the required HDD.

  16. October 15, 2019 2:58 pm

    Unusually, most comments on the BBC website are against the stupid proposals as popagandised by Harrabin.

  17. swan101 permalink
    October 15, 2019 3:28 pm

    Reblogged this on ECO-ENERGY DATABASE and commented:
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You could NOT make it up………

  18. Stephen Lord permalink
    October 15, 2019 3:36 pm

    All the plans show the goals are not feasible. Time to abandon the goals.

  19. Ivan permalink
    October 15, 2019 3:51 pm

    What is the source for
    “And that’s before factoring in higher running costs, which all of the proffered “solutions” involve.”?

  20. Robin Guenier permalink
    October 15, 2019 4:04 pm

    The task is huge. Policy Connect says more than 20,000 homes a week must switch to low-carbon heating between 2025 and 2050 to meet UK climate goals.

    But XR’s ‘net zero by 2025‘ means 100,000 conversions a week (14,000 a day). Yet people are taking them seriously.

    • Ariane permalink
      October 15, 2019 5:24 pm

      Robin, if the IPCC and UNEP had not been ‘taken seriously’ in the first place, then we would not be in the mess we are.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      October 15, 2019 5:46 pm

      Let Andrew Neil have that information. As the only person in the media who’ll ask an in numerate XR spokesperson to explain how it’s going to be done.

  21. Vanessa Crichton permalink
    October 15, 2019 4:23 pm

    It cost me £16,000 to ditch my gas boiler and change to electricity. All the gas pipes etc were removed – it was a huge job. I hated my gas boiler as it never worked very well and did not give me really hot water but it was a great expense but MY decision not the government’s orders !

  22. Bob MacLean permalink
    October 15, 2019 4:32 pm

    And in Majorca they’re installing pipes for mains gas!

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      October 15, 2019 8:37 pm

      Only the UK is determined to destroy itself over the belief in climate woo-woo.

      We must set an example they say, and the world will follow, or rather point and laugh.

  23. spetzer86 permalink
    October 15, 2019 4:33 pm

    What is the calculated excess capacity of the UK grid? If everyone with gas/oil boilers switched to heat pumps, how many homes would be without power during mid-winter?

    • Ivan permalink
      October 15, 2019 5:48 pm

      National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios has projections for how much electricity, by broad application, is needed for various decarbonisation scenarios.

      The FES explores 4 scenarios. Only the first two scenarios (Two Degrees and Community Renewables) actually achieve 80% decarb, so we can ignore the other two. It is only 80% decarb, so you will have to make a mental adjustment for achieving 100%. These scenarios achieve it by 2050, not 2025 or 2030. Nevertheless, they give an indication of costs of various things, putting aside the challenge of doing it quicker.

      Go to the Data Workbook (linked on that page – you open a spreadsheet) and look in particular at tabs 4.12 (domestic heating technologies) and 4.15 (domestic electricity usage, excluding vehicle charging – it says “including” in the table of contents, but that is a misprint.)

      We see at 4.12 that the “Two Degrees” scenario uses a lot of hydrogen for domestic heating. So probably the most useful scenario is the “Community Renewables” then, which makes heavy use of heatpumps. The increase in domestic electricity demand is only about 12% in that scenario. Since domestic electricity demand is less than 40% of the total, that’s only a 5% increase in total electricity demand for domestic heatpumps.

      What, in part, is behind that relatively small increase in domestic electricity usage is a lot of efficiency in domestic energy usage. There’s a tab on efficiency, and there is overall a 30% efficiency improvement in this scenario. If you want to look how much electricity is just for domestic heating, in a particular scenario, you can probably add that up using the data in tab ED1.

      If you look at Tab 4.2, even the overall total peak grid demand increases are suprisingly modest, only 12% overall in the Community Renewables scenario. But, again, this needs to be understood against the background of that 30% overall efficiency improvements – without that it would be more like a 60% increase (1.12/0.7).

      • Steve permalink
        October 15, 2019 6:46 pm

        The CCC propose the use of hybrid heat pumps using hydrogen from mains and delivery of liquefied gas. The energy losses in reforming and compression must be huge. The cost of the heat pumps is likely to be over £10000 and the low temperature output will mean that the roof, walls and floors will have to be highly insulated with air heat exchangers and triple glazing etc. This will cost up to £100k per household in some studies. My estimate is half of this. The committee suggests that the cost for industry should be borne by the taxpayer in order to prevent the factories becoming uncompetitive.

  24. Teaef permalink
    October 15, 2019 5:20 pm

    And at the moment wind power is supplying just 4.7% of load. ( 15/10 at 5pm)

  25. Athelstan. permalink
    October 15, 2019 5:48 pm

    “A report from the cross-party Policy Connect”

    As the steam gushes out my ears, I must restrain myself but only aver that, my opinion of mps has been subterranean just recently I am not so sure it can reach any further down…………….

    and as the idiom goes,

    ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’ and a cold, chill hell is exactly where they wish to put us.

  26. saparonia permalink
    October 15, 2019 5:54 pm

    Ahh …those who’ve invested every spare penny on mortgages to buy a home and people who have bought their council houses at a discount will have to buy them again and also pay to be spied on their every movement inside their own homes. Typical.

  27. I_am_not_a_robot permalink
    October 15, 2019 8:52 pm

    “According to Harrabin, Policy Connect said future heating systems might also need to supply home cooling as UK temperatures rise along with climate change …”.
    But surely the point is to stop CC™, so that is admitting the colossal cost would most likely be futile and pointless.

  28. john cooknell permalink
    October 15, 2019 10:15 pm

    “Policy Connect is a cross-party think tank improving people’s lives by influencing policy.” this is what the BBC and Roger turns to for expert advice?

    You cannot implement a policy that is not practically possible no matter how much you try, or how good an idea the Policy might be.

    Politicians don’t understand this, they live in a world of words on pieces of paper, that is all they do, and think if you write down words things will just happen.

    The fundamental truth is that Gas is a Primary Fuel that is piped directly to the point of use, so whatever you do you are unlikely to improve on that.

  29. Martin hughes permalink
    October 16, 2019 8:52 am

    If they are thinking of replacing with electric heating the entire national grid would need updating. An electric boiler in every house running at the same time in winter would fry the entire system. Too many Amps flowing simultaneously.

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      October 16, 2019 1:34 pm

      It’s not just domestic heating Martin – it’s all heating: hospitals, schools, all commercial and public sector offices, shops, factories … And then there are all those electric vehicles required to replace the banned ICE vehicles. Again not just private cars, but all commercial vehicles (including agricultural equipment) and transportation services. And how about steel and concrete manufacture? I suggest the national grid would need rather more than updating.

      Don’t forget that XR demand that all this is done by 2025.

  30. October 16, 2019 9:43 am

    “With about 27 million homes in the country, £26300 adds up to a mind boggling £710 bn. Even spread over 25 years this is still totally unaffordable.”

    Paul has got this on wrong. Nothing is unaffordable if the government (private interests)
    decide to spend the money. When they decide to have a war they do not care about the cost
    Private interests will make lots of money from the £710 billion spend as they do for war.
    In fact it is the huge cost and thus profits that will be the true driving force for it happening and not any worries about climate change.
    In 1690 The name of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England. The Bank was given exclusive possession of the government’s balances, and was the only limited-liability corporation allowed to issue bank notes.Britain remained on the gold standard until 1931, when the gold and foreign exchange reserves were transferred to the Treasury; however, they continued to be managed by the Bank. From then on money became fiduciary based on the reputation of the issuer i.e. trust only. The UK Quantitative Easing program has created a total of over a trillion pounds.

    As for low carbon heating options as these include wood burning and biomass anything can be classed as low carbon if there is a profit to be made.

    • chaswarnertoo permalink
      October 16, 2019 10:55 am

      Can I have a grant? I burn lots of wood……

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