A report on net zero goals commissioned by the British government has said that all new gas-powered boilers should be banned within the next ten years – a move that would cost average households thousands.
The Independent Review of Net Zero, written by Conservative (Tory) MP Chris Skidmore — the man who first introduced Net Zero targets in Parliament — has called for a radical transformation of homes in Britain, arguing that the sale of new gas boilers should be completely phased out within a decade and for legacy heaters to be replaced by allegedly more environmentally friendly heat pumps.
The report was commissioned during the brief tenure of former prime minister Liz Truss, who attempted to lift the ban on domestic fracking — a reform which was swiftly killed off by current premier Rishi Sunak after he was installed in a parliamentary party coup.
In the paper, Skidmore admitted that his plan would mean a costly process for already struggling Britons, estimating that households will lose between £4,000 to £6,000 by the year 2040, and that any potential savings will not be seen until after that.
The report went on to acknowledge that up to 500,000 households will not see any savings from the transition at all, unless government subsidises the move.
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According to the parliamentary climate change committee, the cost of replacing gas boilers with heat pumps could rise to as high as £26,000 per household. Nevertheless, the report claimed that “ultimately” the benefits of the net zero plans will be greater than the costs.
In addition to the recommendations on boilers, the report called for an “onshore wind revolution” and a “rooftop revolution” to increase the number of solar panels by 500 per cent by 2035 in order to supposedly lessen the nation’s dependency on foreign energy sources in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
“There is no denying the fact that, 42 months on from the UK signing net zero into law, we are now in a net zero race. To stand still, delay or maintain the status quo is not an option,” Skidmore insisted in The Telegraph.
“We have reached a tipping point. The risks of ‘not zero’ are now greater than the associated risks of taking decisive action on net zero now,” the Conservative MP asserted.
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Some expressed scepticism over the report’s conclusions, including Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at Oxford University, who said that the potential savings by transitioning to heat pumps was “incredibly optimistic”.
“My own view is that the costs are likely to be much higher,” he said. “Net zero is incredibly important and I think it critical to tell the public that this is likely to mean they must pay for the pollution they cause and save to fund and finance the investment.”
Andrew Montford, the director of Net Zero Watch, told TalkTV that the green agenda report failed to address the engineering challenges represented by such an overhaul of people’s lives.
“[Chris Skidmore’s] report is mumbo jumbo, it’s management speak, it’s a lot of waffle and doesn’t present the challenges of net zero which would be a disaster for our economy if we actually attempted it. Unfortunately, we are going to attempt it,” he said.
The recommendations come as the United States has become embroiled in a debate about the future of gas stoves after President Joe Biden’s Consumer Product Safety Commissioner, Richard Trumka Jr, suggested that a ban could be on the table.
While the official and indeed the White House walked back the idea after fierce backlash from Republican lawmakers, a ban on gas stoves may still be on the cards in certain localities, with many left-wing state and city governments looking to impose bans on their own.
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