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Replacing gas boilers to hit 2035 climate target could cost households ‘up to £25,000’

April 21, 2021

By Paul Homewood




Replacing gas boilers with green alternatives could cost homeowners up to £25,000, MPs and peers have warned, as the Government announced drastic new emissions cuts.

Boris Johnson on Tuesday committed the UK to cutting carbon emissions by 78 per cent by 2035, compared to 1990 levels, as recommended by the Government’s climate advisory body.

The Government’s climate change advisers have called for a phase-out of new gas boilers by 2033. The Government has committed to installing 600,000 heat pumps, which work like a refrigerator in reverse and run on electricity, in homes every year from 2028.

Millions of the UK’s draughty homes will also need to be better insulated in order to preserve energy and keep homes at optimal warmth with low-carbon heating. 

Adair Turner, a former head of the CBI and a crossbench peer, on Tuesday said homeowners faced a bill of £10-15,000 just for insulation, before the cost of a heat pump.

He said “higher income people” should be expected to “simply sign a cheque for that”, but more help would be needed for those on lower incomes.

Philip Dunne MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said the costs of insulation were being underestimated by the Government, and could reach more like £20,000, with higher costs in older, rural homes, and significant disruption during retrofitting.

Mr Dunne said the policy would be “a blight on a lot of houses”, without any extra support.

The Government has been criticised for scrapping its flagship £1.5billion Green Homes Grant, which offered homeowners up to £10,000 toward insulation costs, just months after it was introduced.

Mr Dunne has written to business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, saying the closure of the grant leaves a "worrying gap" in meeting energy efficiency targets for net zero.


I do wish dopey reporters like Emma Gatten would not use that stupid term “draughty homes”. It makes it sound like we are all living in rusty shacks with ill fitting windows and doors.

I might also question where she, Adair Turner and Philip Dunne have been for the last few years, because all of these costings have been well known about for a long time.

As for Dunne, maybe somebody ought to remind him that governments don’t have money. The £1.5bn Green Homes Grant was far too small to make any difference. If he bothered to get his calculator out, he could work out that an average cost of £25000 per home amounts to £675 billion, all needing to be spent in the next ten years or so. Where on earth does he think this money will come from.

Dunne’s Environmental Audit Committee has of course been at the forefront of calls to speed up decarbonisation, and thus bears direct responsibility for these crippling costs about to be placed on homeowners. A period of silence from him might be more in order!

  1. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 21, 2021 10:34 am

    It’s ironic that we are being told to keep our homes and buildings ‘draughty’ in order to minimize the chance of catching covid. A few weeks back an infections expert on R5 actually said the government would have to rethink their sealed insulated homes policy if covid was not going away – of course the interviewer completely ignored that comment.

    You can’t ‘simply’ internally insulate any property anyway, the knock on effect is that nearly every attachment, fitting, decoration, service etc. needs to be altered or redone. It’s a massive job that would mean people moving out. External insulation is less complicated/disruptive but still a major undertaking.

    The smart meter roll-out has been going for 10 years and isn’t done – replacing 1 small item, and they expect to remodel the entire UK housing stock, laughable.

  2. Lez permalink
    April 21, 2021 10:40 am

    This current administration is dangerous. You just have to look at the comments section in the Telegraph to see what the overwhelming majority think about these daft ideas.
    The Poll Tax riots will be nothing compared to the social unrest that Boris’s plans will ignite.
    He’s got to wake up. Or go.

    • GeoffB permalink
      April 21, 2021 11:11 am

      My comment got deleted…..I wonder why?
      Remember the poll tax riots…….the only way to stop this madness is COP26 riots, that will knock some sense into Boris and nut nuts, By the way COP25 was supposed to be in Chile, but riots about the increased cost of train tickets, due to green electricity, caused transfer to Spain…so it works.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        April 21, 2021 11:39 am

        “the only way to stop this madness is COP26 riots,” i do rather keep banging on about this(!) but I honestly believe an act of civil “disobediance” (that is perfectly legal) is to deliberately crash the electricity grid. I have even started to write a book about it. Enough people in the right locations simultaneously (and under covert instruction) switching on high electrical loads could exceed the grid’s ability to respond and force shutdown. Yes it could prove dangerous but it certainly would focus minds.

  3. April 21, 2021 10:44 am

    Forget trying to destroy Carbon! It is essential for all life on earth! We are a carbon Planet and depend on lots of carbon. To try to destroy it will lead to death to the planet.

  4. Mack permalink
    April 21, 2021 11:04 am

    Our Energy Minister (an oxymoron surely?), Anne-Marie Trevlyan, believes that the government’s latest carbon reduction measures are a shining example to the rest of the world which will inspire them ‘to follow suit’. Aside from being out with the fairies on this point, I wonder whether she has actually deduced the carbon footprint of mining, manufacturing, processing, and transportation of all the materials required to roll out this ‘Hail Mary’ heating system on a national scale? The sheer quantity of metals, fossil fuels and hydrocarbons required will be mammoth not to mention the potential negative environmental impacts of such a huge transformation. And where are all the qualified sparkies and plumbers etc going to come from to install them? Lastly, and probably most importantly of all, where’s the electricity going to come from to power these systems? We surely are in La La land.

  5. UKJohn permalink
    April 21, 2021 11:06 am

    The politicians have made the same mistake earlier CC alarmists did. They have set a date which will be met in their lifetimes. far better to make rules/predictions that apply for 2050 or better still 2100.
    Action to implement these laws needs to be taken soon and I think we are beginning to see the panic emerging.

  6. ianprsy permalink
    April 21, 2021 11:09 am

    What we need is a report showing that football stadia will no longer be able to use floodlights, clubs will not be able to water the pitch, will no longer be able to take part in internationals and fans will be banned from away matches. Twitter will do the rest.

  7. Phoenix44 permalink
    April 21, 2021 12:03 pm

    So much of the country is now in thrall to “data” that is either fake, false or so uncertain as to be unusable. Covid, climate change, obesity, health, universities, tax, inequality, education. All use numbers that simply should not be the basis for any kind of rational decsion-making.

    We are already halfway to utter disaster and none of our polticians seems to care.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 21, 2021 1:16 pm

      A late columnist in the Daily Mail always referred to The National Guesswork Authority who were employed to magic up numbers when required.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        April 21, 2021 2:50 pm

        Keith Waterhouse, if memory serves…Great writer.

  8. Ste permalink
    April 21, 2021 12:38 pm

    Got to love the comment, “higher income people” should be expected to “simply sign a cheque for that” … what do they class as “higher income people” ? I am considered Higher income but there is no way on this earth I could afford to fork out £25K! this government and well most governments since 1998 (well suppose 1973 when we where taken illegally in to the Ponzi scheme of the EEA!) are completely nuts and seem to think that if you earn a certain amount your rich? I have a decent size family home but it comes with a mortgages and bills like the rest, which leaves me to have to budget all the same as I did 20years ago when I lived in a small 1 bed!

  9. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 21, 2021 2:11 pm

    Paul – please generate a campaign to get the Climate Change Committee onto a podium à la COVID to tell us about the science, the costs, the benefits. The public needs to know. There’s a Crisis!!

  10. Penda100 permalink
    April 21, 2021 4:25 pm

    Isn’t the easiest way to reduce the UK’s anthropogenic CO2 emissions by 78% is to reduce the population by a similar amount? 50 million fewer people should balance the equation without all the expense of heat pumps, insulation, new generating capacity etc. Anyway, who would want to live in a country where you’re perpetually cold in winter, told what you can eat (rationing anyone?), with no jobs except manual work trying to grow enough to eat. People will be queuing up to leave and those that are left can bask in their green righteousness.

  11. John Peter permalink
    April 21, 2021 4:57 pm

    I am now at an age where I can ignore the whole lot of nonsense that Boris/Nicola et al. spew out. Don’t even have a smart meter. Never thought in the past that I would think like that. Good luck with it folks. Actually, I think that by next election there will be a party named Common Sense Party or similar that will gain a majority in Parliament and close down the whole array of stupidity.

  12. Gamecock permalink
    April 21, 2021 6:14 pm

    Move now while the best sites are still available.

    The Danes and Norwegians are preparing their invasion of what’s left of GB.

  13. April 21, 2021 8:20 pm

    It should be obvious at this point that the damage wreaked by the preposterous Net Zero measures completely dwarfs any damage that climate change might do in a country that is generally too cold most of the time.

    Sad that too few realise this, and that none in power do. Unless those who do are keeping their heads firmly below the parapet in case they get cancelled.

  14. April 21, 2021 9:09 pm

    Still they rabbit on about insulating our homes, but this is a pointless waste of money as they also tell us we will soon have the same climate as the South of France.

    My advice invest in a warm coat.

  15. Barrie EMMETT permalink
    April 21, 2021 9:28 pm

    Where does this government think they are going to find the engineers to accomplish their ridiculous programme. How long will it take to upgrade a typical street of terraced houses. Where will the charging points be located in the average street. The whole idea is preposterous and by the time of its implementation BJ will be off kicking the can down his street

  16. ianprsy permalink
    April 21, 2021 11:00 pm

    Top comment on the Telegraph’s take on the story:

    “I am a gas safe engineer and I also install heat pumps and renewable energy products and I can tell anyone reading this that gas is going absolutely nowhere for the foreseeable future. There simply isn’t anything on the market (irrespective of cost) that could replace a gas combi boiler in terms of space used and output. The huge additional use of electricity for any renewable energy simply isn’t there within the grid either, it’s a huge problem already when we fit heat pumps. Often there isn’t the power coming through the grid and this will only get worse.

    “This is all before the fact that in anything other than a new build house they simply don’t work! The Government ran a trial last summer where they offered to fit several 100 pumps free of charge including all upgraded radiators and insulation and had over 4000 applications. However when people realised the upheaval, loss of space and system limitations of the 4000 only 19 went ahead and all where unhappy with the end result!!! Imagine having paid for it! Food for thought, my advice for anyone that wants it stay with gas as long as possible until hydrogen is ready to replace it and then it would be a simple change over, indeed modern boilers are starting to come hydrogen changeover ready.”

    Plenty more like that. Pity the Telegraph can’t make its mind up which side of the fence it’s on.

    • Steve permalink
      April 22, 2021 7:48 am

      Except that the steel gas supply from the main into the house would have to be replaced and any 15mm copper supplies within the house. And of course the hydrogen from reformed methane with carbon capture would have to be three times the cost of methane pet kWh.

    • Barrie EMMETT permalink
      April 22, 2021 7:49 am

      That says it all. End of story, informed opinion. Thanks

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      April 22, 2021 9:10 am

      Can I add this one.
      It really is time somebody sat down with this poor lad before he is totally lost to all reason!

      • Barrie EMMETT permalink
        April 22, 2021 9:59 am


    • Gas Geezer permalink
      April 23, 2021 7:59 am

      I can’t wait for the explosion in the hydrogen boiler roll out.

  17. Pancho Plail permalink
    April 22, 2021 8:45 am

    One of the conditions of the grant was to upgrade the ventilation in the home to current building standards. This involved creating openings all over the place to let fresh air in, or to put it another way to create drafts in every room.

  18. dennisambler permalink
    April 22, 2021 11:15 am

    Adair Turner for the last few years has been on the green gravy train, these are notes I wrote in 2006

    “Adair has quite a “green” pedigree, he is a trustee of the Quasi Governmental Organisation, WWF-UK and is also an Al Gore acolyte:

    CO2 study to be launched today 18/09/2006, Tom Stevenson, Telegraph

    “The increasing importance of climate change to investors will come under the spotlight today when Lord Adair Turner and former vice-president Al Gore launch the most comprehensive analysis yet of the contribution to global warming of the world’s biggest companies.

    The Carbon Disclosure Project, which is backed by 225 institutional investors speaking for $31,000bn in funds under management, is the fourth of its kind since 2002 and provides the clearest picture so far of the annual CO2 emissions of companies such as Ford, Google, Exxon Mobil and BP, and their strategies for reducing emissions.”

    This was Adair Turner’s response to the Stern Review:

    “The scientific evidence of global warming is overwhelming but some commentators and lobby groups have continued to oppose offsetting actions on economic and competitiveness grounds. This comprehensive and authoritative report demolishes their arguments, explaining clearly the complex economics of climate change. It makes plain that we can cut emissions radically at a cost to the economy far less than the economic and human welfare costs which climate change could impose ”

    He subsequently became the first chairman of the Climate Change Committee:
    On the 4th of February 2009, he told the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) that: –

    “The core (of the UK Climate Act} is contract and converge. We cannot imagine a global deal which is both doable and fair which doesn’t end up by mid-century with roughly equal rights per capita to emit and that is clearly said in the report. This is strong support for what Aubrey Meyer has been saying.”

    (Aubrey Meyer is a former Green Party member and musician, who invented contract and converge, then taken up by the UN and western politicians everywhere).

    Click to access Aubrey_Meyer.pdf

  19. Robert Christopher permalink
    April 22, 2021 12:01 pm

    Maybe Germany will hit the buffers before we do:

    Germany’s Green Party ahead in polls

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 22, 2021 12:06 pm

      Decadence. They think they can afford having the Greenies in charge.

      Like USians think they’ll be fine with BidenLOL in charge.

  20. Edward Tupper permalink
    April 23, 2021 9:34 am

    Even if you have a Ground Source Heat Pump for your heating you still need a boiler for your hot water ! Why not put a ban on having more than one child per person ? Over population is the biggest issue and no one talks about it !

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