UK heat policy risks increased gas imports

Scrapping the Clean Heat Market Mechanism could increase UK gas demand by 70TWh in 2035, risking a 19% rise in gas imports, according to a report

New analysis by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) warns of potential consequences as the UK government considers scrapping the Clean Heat Market Mechanism.

The scheme, designed to promote electric heat pumps, could displace significant amounts of gas usage by 2035.

However, if abandoned, gas demand could surge by 70TWh, leading to a 19% increase in gas imports, exacerbating energy security concerns and consumer costs, according to the ECIU report.

The Clean Heat Market Mechanism, slated for implementation on 1st April, mandates fossil fuel boiler manufacturers to prioritise heat pump sales.

Jess Ralston, Energy Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: “The UK has been the worst hit by the energy crisis because of our heavy reliance on gas, including for heating, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“Policies which reduce this gas dependency should be a priority for any government that has energy independence at the top of its agenda. “The big four boiler manufacturers have said that they will scrap their ‘boiler tax’ – which they may make millions from – if the government scraps its scheme.

Citizens Advice has said that scrapping the policy would ‘hurt’ consumers, and any U-turn would make us more dependent on foreign gas imports as the North Sea continues its inevitable decline.”

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