Tom Burke discusses boilers, heat pumps and net zero on LBC

Detail image of a silver heat pump
Detail image of a silver heat pump. Image by Kevin Harris via Flickr.

E3G’s Chair and Co-founder Tom Burke is interviewed by Tom Swarbrick, LBC on UK government policy towards boilers, and heat pumps in the transition to net zero.



I think people are building a mountain of speculation on not very much in the way of fact about what is actually being proposed…The government really needs to get beyond consulting, and actually get on with coming up with a policy to deploy these boilers, there is huge support for it from industry: we heard the CBI talking about it, the energy industries have been talking about it.

It is not that there is a resistance from the energy industries, or the business communities to doing this, but there is a real absence of any drive or energy because the government simply has not put its policy together.

Maybe because it is afraid of headlines, and ill-informed headlines like the ones that we are seeing at the moment.

The cost of replacing gas boilers, spread over time, will eventually come from the consumers of energy, from householders and businesses, as all of our energy costs do. If it is done badly, then it will be very expensive, but if it is done smartly, it need not be expensive.

The goal at the end of the day is to reduce energy bills, so one of the ways to make sure that you do it smartly is to get on with improving the energy efficiency of our buildings, which the government made a complete cock up of. I have seen reference to the fact that the prime minister is very focused on putting that policy back in trade, so you can take money off people’s energy bills with one hand, even if you are putting it on with the other hand. So, the actual perceived pain is perhaps not as great as some people are suggesting it will be.


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