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UK Government Stays Resolute on Heat Pumps as Clean Heat Policy Affirmed

UK Government Rep (Credits: DeSmog)

A big part of the UK’s plan to reduce gas use in home heating has faced strong criticism from the gas boiler industry. However, energy efficiency minister Martin Callanan clarified in the House of Lords that the plan to increase heat pump installations will still start on April 1, despite all the pushback.

Callanan mentioned a report by DeSmog from July 2023, which showed that the Energy and Utilities Association (EUA), the biggest gas boiler trade group, had paid a PR company to spread negative stories about heat pumps. This investigation helped shed light on the tactics used to oppose the plan.

Home Heating (Credits:

The Clean Heat Market Mechanism (CHMM) aims to have 600,000 heat pumps installed annually by 2028. Experts say this is crucial to reducing home emissions, which currently produce 15 percent of the UK’s greenhouse gases.

According to the policy, heating manufacturers must ensure that four percent of their sales are heat pumps in the scheme’s first year, or they might face fines. The gas heating sector doesn’t like this and calls it a “boiler tax,” pushing for its cancellation.

When asked about the policy in the House of Lords, Callanan clarified that there’s no such thing as a “boiler tax,” but the Clean Heat Market Mechanism is essential to meet the target of 600,000 heat pump installations and to stick to carbon budgets.

Heat Pump (Credits: The Guardian)

This statement confirms that the government is sticking to the policy despite all the speculation and lobbying against it. A spokesperson from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero confirmed the target for heat pump installations but didn’t give more details.

A pilot year with no fines will likely be announced soon. Juliet Philips from energy think tank E3G welcomed this news, saying that while some changes to the scheme might happen, it’s a crucial step in lowering household bills, improving energy security, and supporting British heat pump manufacturing.

Now, everyone is waiting for the government to confirm the timeline for implementing the regulation and end the attempts to stop the policy.

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