Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Government plan to rip out gas boilers from Thurrock homes is “utterly absurd” says union

PLAN will lead to heating chaos for millions of people and general resentment towards the UK’s drive to net zero, says GMB Union.

The Government’s plan to ban the installation of new gas boilers will leave 2.1 million East of England homes with huge bills and potentially weeks of disruption, says GMB Union. 

The warning comes ahead of a crunch vote on the future of the energy sector at TUC Congress tomorrow. [Sunday 12 September]. 

The Government is reportedly planning on banning new gas boiler installations from 2035 – although it is rumoured that the ban may be put back to 2040.  

GMB, the UK’s energy union, warned policymakers that 2.1 million East of England homes are connected to the gas grid. Nine out of ten households currently use gas (86 per cent). [1] 

Under Government plans, bill payers could be forced to install an electric heat pump. Installing a basic model costs £8,750 on average before VAT – equivalent to almost a third (30 per cent) of the average East Midlands household’s entire annual income. 

The cost for some households could be much higher.  

People in Harlow face the most intense disruption of any area as the most connected place to the gas grid in the country – with an estimated 95.1 per cent of households connected to the grid. 

GMB Union calls for a conversion programme to green gasses such as hydrogen which could support 100,000 jobs. [2] 

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: 

“Ripping out existing boilers from more than 2 million homes across the East of England is utterly absurd. 

“It will lead to heating chaos for millions of people and general resentment towards the UK’s drive to net zero – especially if households are then forced to rely on unproven heat pump technology. 

“By investing in hydrogen technologies, we can use our existing gas network instead of throwing it all away. 

“And thousands of skilled gas engineers across the country will have jobs adapting the systems. 

“Hydrogen is crucial to meeting our net zero targets and crucial for ensuring a proper transition for gas workers.” 


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