- Scheme called Clean Heat Market Mechanism was designed to lower emissions
A climate minister is on resignation watch today with the government poised to scrap a ‘boiler tax’.
Graham Stuart is said to be fighting a rearguard action over moves to ditch penalties for manufacturers who miss heat pump installation targets.
From April this year firms are due to be required to match at least four per cent of all sales with heat pumps, or face fines.
However, manufacturers have already responded by raising their prices by up to £120 and there are concerns about companies merely passing on the costs to consumers.
Net Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho has been signalling that the government is about to change tack on the plan.
Graham Stuart is said to be fighting a rearguard action over moves to ditch penalties for manufacturers who miss heat pump installation targets
Net Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho has been signalling that the government is about to change tack on the plan
The government has already announced that it is backing down on some Net Zero policies, such as the plan to ban the installation of new gas boilers (stock photo)
According to the Times, signs that the penalties would be dropped sparked an angry response on Tory WhatsApp groups recently.
When one MP commented that the mooted change ‘seems crackers’, Mr Stuart is said to have responded that they were ‘exactly right’.
‘That’s why it is government policy to go ahead with it … We already have the encouragement method in the form of the £7,500 subsidy,’ he reportedly wrote.
‘If we are to get off that over time we need to change the incentives of players in the industry and that’s what this does: increasing sales, lowering costs and driving growth. Without it I can’t see how our carbon budgets will be met and we are at severe legal risk.’
The government is targeting 600,000 new heat pumps a year by the year 2028.
But the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero insists the approach is to help families make environmentally friendly changes instead of forcing them.
It comes amid a backlash across mainland Europe against draconian net zero policies with farmers taking to the streets in France, Belgium and Germany.
A department source said they did not want to see the same thing happening in the UK.
The government has already announced that it is backing down on some net zero policies, such as the plan to ban the installation of new gas boilers.
When the so-called ‘boiler tax’ was announced last year, Worcester Bosch said the price of all its gas boilers would increase by £120.
Getting a boiler fitted typically costs between £1,500 and £5,000, depending on the size and type required.
To encourage homeowners to make the switch, the Government offers Boiler Upgrade Scheme grants of up to £7,500 to get a heat pump.
The aim of the scheme is to lower the UK’s carbon emissions and increase the energy efficiency of households by encouraging more heat pump installations (stock photo of a heat pump)