British homeowners will have to replace their conventional gas boilers with potentially more expensive and greener alternatives under a radical plan being drawn up by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s officials.
When owner-occupiers sell their homes, or carry out significant renovations, they would need to make sure their heating systems comply with tougher new environmental standards, people familiar with the proposals said. That’s likely to involve replacing a gas boiler with a heat pump, which can typically cost more than 10,000 pounds.
Ministers are preparing to launch a consultation on how to regulate the proposed new rules. Options could include the threat of financial penalties for non-compliance, according to one of the people who declined to be identified because the policy has not been finalized.
Under separate regulations due to be put to a public consultation, boiler manufacturers would also be required to sell a minimum number of heat pumps alongside their gas boilers, one person said. That is likely to increase the price of standard gas boilers if companies add a surcharge to bills to cover their costs.
The proposals are a core part of Johnson’s drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2050, as he seeks to turn the U.K. into a world leader on tackling climate change.
“Our heat and buildings strategy will be published in due course,” a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said. “While we do not comment on speculation around the content of forthcoming publications, we are clear that this and our wider efforts to tackle climate change will go with the grain of consumer behavior, and ensure measures are fair and affordable.”
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