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Heating expert calls for GHG extension

A home heating expert has urged Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to extend the Green Homes Grant scheme until its entire £1.5 billion budget is claimed.

Managing director of Boiler Plan UK Ian Henderson

The founder and managing director of Cramlington-based Boiler Plan UK Ian Henderson wrote to the Business Secretary earlier this month with his plea.

Since the launch last September, only 22,165 grants, worth £94.1m, have been issued to homeowners and landlords and the Government pledged to extend the scheme until March next year in a bid to meet its target of delivering eco improvements to 600,000 homes.

Mr Henderson, responding to reports that the flagship scheme is to end after just 12 months, said: “It is disgraceful that the government has all but scrapped this scheme before it has even got off the ground.

“Many businesses, including our own, have invested in infrastructure and people to deliver this initiative in line with the Government’s guidelines.

“A move away from this spending commitment will undoubtably cost jobs and affect livelihoods at a time when our economy is on its knees. The Government needs to seriously rethink this and deliver on the promises they have made.”

“Its commitment to achieving net zero by 2050 looks almost impossible without the widespread uptake of measures that will improve the energy efficiency of Britain’s housing stock – which is among the worst in Europe.

As part of the shift away from fossil fuels, conventional gas boilers will be banned from new build homes within three years and phased out altogether by 2035 – with hydrogen boilers and air and ground source heat pumps the most likely replacement technologies. However, ground source heat pumps, only work efficiently in well insulated homes.

The Environment Audit Committee of MPs has already warned that at the current rate, the scheme – administered by US consultancy firm ICF – will take a decade to meet its 600,000 home target.

The Green Home Grant scheme issues vouchers to fund the installation of low carbon heating systems, including air source heat pumps, biomass and solar, together with insulation work. Grants are also available for a range of other measures including draught proofing, replacement doors and windows and heating controls.

Ian, himself a qualified heating engineer, added: “It’s obvious that the scheme is not delivering results at the required pace so the Government should address that rather than scrapping a policy that will play a vital role in shaping this country’s low carbon future.”

1 March 2021

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