Heat and Buildings Strategy – MCS calls for Action from BEIS
Ian Rippin of MCS called on BEIS on 20 May to take positive action to encourage the installation of heat pumps ahead of the publication of the Heat and Buildings Strategy by BEIS: Call to Action.
The MCS requests are summarised below:
MCS is calling for a reduction in VAT, new tax incentives and long-term grants to bring heat pump costs in line with gas boiler costs today. Where retrofit is concerned, MCS campaigns for Zero Carbon = Zero VAT.
Heat pumps run on electricity, so we also need environmental levies to move away from electricity and be applied to carbon intensive fuels instead. This will bring down the cost of electricity, making running a domestic heat pump affordable.
Hydrogen is far more costly than natural gas, so energy bills using hydrogen would rise – risking pushing more people into fuel poverty.
If we are serious about achieving net zero by 2050, burning natural gas in the 20 years it will take to create a hydrogen grid would be a disastrous misstep by the government.
Investing in hydrogen at this stage in its infancy, especially without the necessary infrastructure for it to make an impact on our net zero goals, would be a massive misfire.
A hydrogen decision would seem purely designed to facilitate the need for new, hydrogen-ready boilers to be installed. They are gas boilers in everything but name – the trojan horse of the fossil fuel industry.
Insulating millions of homes should also be top of the list. Stable decisions, clear deadlines and learning from the Green Homes Grant's backwards application system is crucial for a successful replacement scheme aimed at encouraging more homeowners to invest in insulation.
Finally, we hope to see the Heat and Buildings Strategy tackle the bizarre costs of environmental and social levies on energy bills. The UK still imposes significant taxes and environmental levies (23%) on domestic electricity, but almost none (less than 2%) on gas. This needs to be reversed.
The GSHPA welcomes this strong burst of common sense from MCS and lends its full support for action from government.