Kwasi Kwarteng says gas prices are ‘global issue’
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It comes after the Government announced plans to phase out gas boilers, and instead instal 600,00 heat pumps a year by 2028. The Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) have claimed that not only will this plan cost over five million homes an extra £2.500 a year, but that a move away from gas will also discourage the next generation from working in the gas industry, which could result in another energy crisis. Stewart Clements, from the HHIC, told Express.co.uk: “The Government’s rhetoric is that gas is gone and there’s no point worrying about it because we’re all going to electric.
“What that has done is said to kids that are looking for a good career to not look at the gas industry because there’s no future in it.
“I would topically put it along with the HGV crisis that we’ve got.
“If we’re scaring kids off now from becoming gas engineers because we’re told that gas is gone, we’re going to have this real shortfall of heating engineers.”
Mr Clements then slammed the Government for not listening to the gas industry.
He added: “What they [Government] haven’t done correctly is engage fully with industry, they’ve always ignored the incumbent industries and always look towards what they deem as being the more environmental lobbies.
“But actually, there are 130,000 gas-safe engineers that have got a really good voice, who really understand their consumers.
“Many of the incumbent manufacturers all invested in training to bring these guys along, and what didn’t happen, which is a big concern of ours now, is that the market didn’t follow.
“We had the installers ready, the product was ready, we’d done the training, but there was no market. Now you’ve got manufacturers reluctant to build training centres again.”
These comments come after the Government announced plans to phase out natural gas from the energy grid completely by 2035 as part of Mr Johnson’s plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
But in doing so, Mr Johnson’s current heat pump strategy could mean that many Britons will fork out the replacement costs.
Heat pumps use electricity to take energy from the outside air, or ground, to provide homes with heating and hot water.
HIIC have pointed out that the issue is said to be that many houses built since the Seventies were fitted with microbore central heating pipework.
This means the diameter of the pipes is less than 15mm, typically eight or 10mm, while technologies such as heat pumps require a diameter of at least 22mm.
Microbore was very popular in the new-build market for central heating installations as it was cost-effective and easier to install due to its smaller size.
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Mr Clements said that there is no need to get rid of gas boilers, when there is a simple, cost-free alternative.
“Natural gas boilers are cost-effective, it’s generally built in Britain and it’s a good answer to our issues, it’s not actually a problem.
“The gas boiler has come to a point where the product itself can’t really evolve.
“The question is how do we evolve what we put into the gas boiler, what fuel do we give it to burn, and one easy solution is hydrogen-ready boilers.”
Hydrogen-ready boilers can reportedly be easily installed by gas engineers at no extra cost to the consumer.
This, according to HICC, is a much better solution than Mr Johnson’s heat pump solution.
Speaking to Express.co.uk in September, head of UK Energy Alliance Mike Foster said: “There is no impact on the consumer, they do not have to do a thing and everything stays the same. All the engineers do is come along and change two parts and then your hydrogen boiler is ready for use.
“Blending hydrogen into the natural gas grid up to 20 percent, which has been tested successfully, can be rolled out relatively quickly and within the next two or three years we will see hydrogen injected into the gas grid.”
“This gives the government the option to start migrating people from natural gas, or natural gas with a blend of hydrogen, into full hydrogen.”
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