NEW homes should be built without boilers, gas hobs and gas radiators in just six years’ time in a bid to cut down on carbon emissions, a committee has warned.
The Committee on Climate Change, which advises the Government and monitors the UK’s carbon emissions, has made the recommendations in its new report.
Instead, it says homes should have low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps and heat networks.
It says “no new homes should connect to the gas grid from 2025 at the latest”.
Adding: “There are plans for 1.5million new UK homes by 2022. These new homes must be built to be low-carbon, energy and water efficient and climate resilient.”
The problem is that when gas is made, it releases carbon emissions into the environment, which in turn contribute towards global warming.
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In the UK, the Government has a target to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent compared to 1990 levels by 2050.
But the committee says the Government isn’t doing enough to combat the issue. It says that around 4.5million homes now overheat, even in cool summers.
It adds that making homes more energy efficient could save households in new homes between £70 and £260 on their energy bills each year.
Baroness Brown, chair of the committee’s adaptation committee, said: “This report confirms what we have long-suspected: UK homes are largely unprepared for climate change.
“The Government now has an opportunity to act. There must be compliance with stated building designs and standards. We need housing with low-carbon sources of heating.
“And we must finally grasp the challenge of improving our poor levels of home energy efficiency. As the climate continues to change, our homes are becoming increasingly uncomfortable and unsafe.”
But trade body the Home Builders Federation – whose members account for 80 per cent of all new homes built in England and Wales – warns that these energy efficiency measures will bump up prices.
This is because low carbon heating includes pricey underfloor heating and more costly, larger low grade heat radiators – the look of which may also put of home buyers.
A spokesperson said: “Developers have demonstrated a clear commitment to this agenda and new homes are considerably more energy efficient than older ones.
“But builders need to sell homes and so alternative energy sources have to be attractive to consumers and commercially viable.
“Gas boiler systems are currently the most attractive option for consumers and so what builders tend to install, and limitations remain with the alternatives available.”
How to get a boiler for free
GETTING a new boiler typically costs £2,300 according to the Energy Saving Trust. But there are government schemes that can help with some or all of the cost.
The Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme means that energy companies will replace old, inefficent boilers for low-income families either completely free of charge or with a big discount.
The rules to qualify for the scheme are quite complicated. You must own your own home or have the permission of your landlord.
You’ll also need to meet certain income or benefit requirements.
For instance, you may qualify if you claim:
- Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
- Working or Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits
- War Pensions Mobility Supplement
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Child Benefit
If you think you could qualify, you should call energy providers for a free assessment.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) says it’s planning to consult on proposals to “phase out” high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing homes later this year.
A spokesperson for BEIS said: “The UK has reduced emissions faster than any other G7 nation, and moving to a greener, cleaner economy while continuing to grow the economy is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy.
“Over the next 10 years, we have committed to drive £6billion to improve the energy efficiency of lower income and vulnerable households.
“We will carefully consider the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations.”
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Meanwhile, boiler insurance has been branded as “worthless” as customers are left without heating or hot water.
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