As North Sea gas production declines, the government’s heating policies for homes could significantly impact the country’s dependence on foreign gas, warns new analysis.
A less ambitious approach that includes heat pumps and gas connections to new homes may lead to an additional 200TWh of foreign gas imports, mainly from countries like Qatar, between 2024 and 2035, according to the report.
This equates to the gas usage of over 16 million homes or 200 LNG tankers.
The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit estimates that the extra gas imports for heating could cost over £9bn by 2035, with gas prices predicted to remain two to three times higher than pre-energy crisis levels.
The research reveals that if gas connections continue and less ambitious mechanisms for gas boilers are adopted, imports could be 40TWh (10%) higher by 2035.
This could cost £500 million in 2030, rising to £1.3 billion in 2035, based on estimates from the oil and gas industry.
The report suggests a new build home with a gas boiler may spend £3,500 more on gas by 2035 than one with an electric heat pump.