Force fitting heat pumps is against British character, says Energy Minister

Lord Callanan has opposed criticism heard last week about the “failing” Boiler Upgrade Scheme

The Energy Minister has said forcing households to replace gas boilers with heat pumps would be “against the British character”.

Lord Callanan told the Sunday Telegraph “nobody’s going to be forced to ditch their boiler” and that he was “more in favour of carrots than sticks”.

The government has set out rules to ban the installation of gas boilers in new-build homes in 2025.

Last week, a Lords inquiry described the government’s flagship green heating Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) as “seriously failing”.

However, Lord Callanan said he did not agree with the criticism as the scheme is still in its “early stages”.

Energy and Utilities Alliance Chief Executive Officer Mike Foster said: “In the Heat and Buildings Strategy, it is clearly stated that from 2026 those homes off the gas grid will not be allowed to install a new oil or LPG boiler. This forces households to ditch their boiler. Yet now the Minister says he is against his own policy.

“Officials in the Minister’s own department have described off-gas grid homes as “low hanging fruit”, easy to pick off and have a heat pump installed to replace a boiler. For those currently using a gas boiler, the Heat and Buildings Strategy identified 2035 as the date after which a gas boiler could not be installed. Has this deadline now been scrapped to?

“We need to clarify the situation urgently. Consumers need to know what the future holds for them, as does industry. One minute gas boiler are being banned, the next it is against the British character to do this. It’s chaos. Whether you make boilers, heat pumps or both, confusion is the very last thing needed.”

In case you missed it, listen to what the Chair of the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee told ELN about the findings of an investigation into the BUS.

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