The government is not keeping up with climate targets by cutting carbon emissions caused by the heating of UK homes, a group of MPs have warned.
It comes as 14 per cent of the country’s emissions are caused by home heating, showing the reliance on the increasingly expensive gas, according to The Guardian.
Despite the government announcing last year that they have a strategy to steer away from gas and replace it with heat pumps and other greener alternative, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee found the strategy did not lay out how these changes can be achieved.
Saving the planet and saving money
The revelations come as gas prices are hiking, prompting the government to consider measures in which they could diminish the hit lower income households will take.
Jan Rosenow, committee advisor and Regulatory Assistance Project director, told The Guardian: “Shifting away from fossil fuels is the only real solution to the energy price rises. The alternative is to keep using fossil fuels, and then we will see this again and again.”
The committee’s report urged the government to tell UK people that taking gas out of home heating will not only help save the planet, but also save Britain’s residents cash – which is already affected by other price hikes and will take a further blow when the national insurance increase kicks in in April.
Darren Jones, chair of the committee, said: “Replacing gas boilers is a huge task and we are not making anywhere near enough progress.
“Bill payers today are deeply worried about their energy costs, with many people struggling to afford to heat their homes.”
Heat pumps anyone?
He added: “Most people don’t realise that their gas boiler will need to be replaced within the next ten to 15 years. The government and energy companies should explain to bill payers why switching away from gas and insulating our homes is not only important in tackling climate change, but also a route to reducing energy bills. The government also needs to spell out what financial help will be put in place for those who need it most.”
The reactions come as the government set out a goal of bringing in 600,000 heat pumps by 2028, but scrapped a green homes grant for installing them across the country.
According to reports, a £1 billion levy on energy companies which would fund greener energy is also threatened with being removed.
And climate campaigners have also hit out at the government for allowing a new oilfield in the North Sea only weeks after the Cop26 international climate summit in Glasgow.
The government’s Oil and Gas Authority silently agreed to allow the Abigail oil and gas field off the east coast of Scotland last month, according to The Guardian.
A government spokesperson said: “Our landmark Heat and Buildings Strategy provides a clear and comprehensive plan for cutting emissions from the UK’s homes, with plans to incentivise people to install low-carbon heating systems in a simple, fair and cheap way, including £5,000 grants for heat pumps.
“With industry we are aiming for big cost reductions of between a quarter and a half by 2025 as the heat pump market expands and technology develops.
“In total, we’re investing £6.6 billion this parliament to decarbonise our buildings, saving people money on their bills and slashing pollution in the process.”