The Heat and Building Strategy is due to be published and will set out how the Government plans to address potential issues for homeowners, such as electricity being significantly more expensive than gas. The Prime Minister wants to achieve his net-zero target by banning gas boilers in homes and sales of new petrol and diesel cars. When asked about the expense to consumers of scrapping gas boilers, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng recently insisted ministers will “try and help people make that transition”.
But he is “concerned” about a gaping £20billion hole in the country’s public finances that will open up through the loss of fuel duty through the switch to electric cars.
Electric heat pumps are seen to be the most viable alternative, but they can cost anywhere from £4,000 to £14,000 to purchase and install – which is significantly more than the £1,000 average cost of a gas boiler.
Another option is air source heat pumps that draw heat from above – even in temperatures as low as -15C – but even they start from £10,000.
Both of these sources run on electricity, but heat pumps are currently around £400 per year more expensive to run than boilers.
Morgan Schondelmeier, Head of External Affairs at the Adam Smith Institute think tank, warned the Government’s net-zero plans “risk making Britons poorer”, while the cost of replacing gas boilers with more low-carbon alternatives could cost thousands.
He told Express.co.uk: “The Government’s net-zero by 2050 plans risk making Brits poorer.
“Their mandating households replace gas boilers with more low-carbon alternatives could cost each household £14,000.
“This is just one of dozens of policies pushing costs onto households while providing limited benefits to reducing carbon emissions.
“With the economy still recovering from the pandemic, it’s incredibly disheartening to see the Government fall prey to an un-costed and unattainable scheme for yet-to-be-invented hydrogen boilers at the behest of aggressive lobbying.
“The Government should stop focusing on top-down mandates, picking winners, banning and subsidising. They should instead allow the market to find the best ways to reduce carbon emissions.
“This can most simply be achieved using a border adjusted carbon tax, with an accompanying generous compensation to households to cover increased costs.”
Public campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance warned households could see their bills surge by £400 each year, with the total cost of making Britain net-zero stretching into the tens of billions.
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They urged the Government not to leave UK taxpayers footing the hefty bill, warning it is “not sensible, nor a vote-winning option”.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told Express.co.uk: “The net-zero target must not see working taxpayers landed with the bill.
“Estimates suggest that some households could see their bills rise by as much as £400 per year.
“The costs of net-zero will almost certainly stretch into the tens of billions, if not higher.
“With the highest tax levels in 70 years, family finances are already strained and they cannot be expected to pay more for food, goods and travel.”
The TaxPayer Alliance boss was citing a recent report from the National Infrastructure Commission, who warned UK families could see their bills surging by up to £400 each year to cover the cost of the net-zero target.
He added: “Asking taxpayers to dig even deeper into their pockets in the form of ever-greater taxation is not a sensible, nor a vote-winning option.
“If the Government wants to meet the costs, then it must make savings and launch an unapologetic war on waste – it must save to spend.
“Ministers must promise to protect Brits from any green cost hikes.”