‘UK risks falling behind’ warns chief executive of Sheffield energy company
and live on Freeview channel 276
Martin Lewerth – group chief executive officer at Aira, a Swedish company that recently acquired Sheffield’s All Seasons Energy – said it made little economic or environmental sense.
A ban on the sale of new gas boilers in 2035 remains but the government is introducing new exemptions for poorer households and raising the boiler upgrade grant by 50 per cent from £5,000 to £7,500, to make it more affordable for people to install heat pumps.
Mr Lewerth said he welcomed the increase to the boiler upgrade scheme subsidy but there was room to do more.
He said: “Today, UK households are exporting millions of pounds to overseas gas companies and risk falling ever further behind our European neighbours in the race to decarbonise our homes. It makes little economic or environmental sense in the short, medium or long-term to continue down this road to 2035.
“Heat pumps offer a superior, tried and tested, alternative to heating our homes. Heat pumps decrease CO2 emissions by 75 per cent and are four times more efficient than a conventional gas boiler.
“Reforming Energy Performance Certificates, scrapping planning policy red tape and addressing the imbalance of tax and levies on greener electricity versus pollutant gas will be important policy levers that will encourage wider adoption of heat pumps in the UK and support the government’s net-zero 2050 ambition.”
The government changes also include a five-year delay on banning new petrol and diesel cars.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak it was a “more pragmatic, proportionate and realistic approach” and insisted the UK would still hit net zero by 2050, despite the major shift in green policies.
He said: “I believe in net zero and I want to deliver it.”
It comes as the Tories try to close the gap on Labour ahead of the next general election.
Among the key changes announced were:
- A five-year delay in the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, meaning a requirement for all new cars to be “zero emission” will not come into force until 2035
- A nine-year delay in the ban on new fossil fuel heating for off-gas-grid homes to 2035
- Raising the Boiler Upgrade Grant by 50 per cent from £5,000 to £7,500 to help households who want to replace their gas boilers
- The ban on the sale of new gas boilers in 2035 remains, but the government will introduce new exemption for poorer households
- Scrapping the requirement on landlords to ensure all rental properties had a Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of grade C or higher, from 2025.
Aira’s plans for Sheffield
The Swedish firm snapped up clean energy company All Seasons pledging to create more than 100 green jobs and apprenticeships last month.
Aira says it will also set up an academy to train ‘hundreds’ of installers as part of its expansion plans.