Green Co-Leader’s gas boiler raises eyebrows amid energy efficiency push

Green Co-Leader’s gas boiler raises eyebrows amid energy efficiency push

0:02 AM, 25th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago 15

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Green Party co-leader admits she has a gas boiler despite telling landlords to focus on energy efficiency improvements.

Carla Denyer told ITV’s The Leader Interviews, “she was in the process of getting quotes for a heat pump” but had to pause the process during the general election campaign.

The Green Party’s manifesto pledge includes EPC B targets for properties and a tenant’s right to demand energy efficiency improvements.

I have a gas boiler

Ms Denyer told ITV’s the Leader Interviews: “At the moment I have a gas boiler and I’m literally in the process of getting quotes for replacing it with an air source heat pump.

“I’ve had to put that on pause during the general election as you can imagine but I  literally have quotes in my email inbox.”

The Green Party manifesto claims they will invest £29bn over the next five years to insulate homes to EPC B standard or above, as part of a ten-year programme.

The party says: “£12bn of this will be to retrofit the social housing stock and £17bn as grants to retrofit privately owned homes to a similar standard.”

The party also pledges to invest £9bn over the next five years for heating systems (e.g. heat pumps) for homes and other buildings.

The Green Party is also encouraging landlords to prioritise energy efficiency improvements and is proposing a new right for renters to request these upgrades.

Labour will ban new gas boilers

Labour has also pledged to scrap Conservatives’ plan to ban new gas boilers from 2035.

Ed Miliband told the Daily Telegraph: “On home heating – as we said in our manifesto – no one’s going to be forced to rip out their boiler, we’re absolutely clear about that.”

Mr Miliband says he has installed a heat pump but acknowledges more needs to be done to make heat pumps affordable.

He adds: “We haven’t stuck with the government’s 2035 target when you can’t replace your gas boiler. I know that we’ve got to show that heat pumps are affordable and are going to work for people.”


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Cider Drinker

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8:53 AM, 25th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago

I recently met a couple who lived separately in large 4-bedroom houses. One of them worked for Shelter.

Keith Wellburn

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10:00 AM, 25th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago

How old is this boiler? In virtually all cases, replacement gas boilers fitted for the best part of twenty years have been condensing types usually around 95% plus efficient. Gone are the days with 60% efficient models.

There is nothing green about scrapping a serviceable gas boiler and there is no great saving on running costs whilst electricity is three times the cost of gas - that virtually wipes out the so called higher efficiency.

Even the green credentials for a mass switch to electricity don’t stack up unless there is a back up of gas fired generation (rather defeating the object of scrapping a gas boiler) - haven’t the Green Party noticed it’s coldest in the depths of winter after sunset and in high pressure conditions when wind generation is much reduced.

Don’t let a ridiculous cost, serious potential for power cuts if there isn’t enough generation to meet this huge increase in demand, problems with getting enough skilled labour and the opportunity cost of doing other things such as actually building enough homes get in the way of the grandstanding.

Decent landlord

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10:24 AM, 25th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago

I have quotes in my inbox to upgrade all my properties to EPC grade B. Phew, glad that's all sorted then

Pete England - PaTMa Property Management

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10:24 AM, 25th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago

The financial argument of installing a heat pump within retrofit build does stack up. My heatpump is more expensive to run than a gas boiler (if I had gas) and our property is rated at EPC B, although it’s currently a EPC A as we have installed 12kwp solar system since moving in. Without Solar PV on the roof it would cost us £3125 to heat a 3 bedroom house. We use over 1000kw in Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb alone when the temperature is below 4degrees so the heat extracted from the air is zero and the internal immersion kicks in to heat the underfloor. Heatpumps are in the early stages of development and it’s important to get the refrigerant right before claims can be made on achieving a sop of 3:1 or 4:1. Costs for servicing a heatpump are double that of a gas boiler. The Green Party really need to do there sums before they can be a credible voice in this country.

robert fisher

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11:08 AM, 25th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago

As usual , soundbites and un researched pipe dreams, The reality is that when a tenants gas boiler breaks down, your plumber calls with the bad news that its unrepairable or uneconomic to repair . Your options are instruct the plumber to put in a new gas boiler leaving the tenant with a small disruption whilst works are done or opt to have a heat pump installed which in reality means waiting for a survey to establish viability and insulation levels . My son paid Octopus for this survey, he waited 3 months for an appointment then was told the wait time for installation was another 5 months or so , bit vague nothing set in stone. You cannot leave a tenant without heating / hot water for such a long period of time.

Beaver

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11:27 AM, 25th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Keith Wellburn at 25/06/2024 - 10:00
I agree. I had to upgrade the gas boiler in my own home during lockdown. The new gas boiler that replaced the old gas condensing boiler is way more efficient and cheaper. The difference in performance is noticeable. I am really sympathetic to the idea that we move in the direction of renewables but the truth is that if I wanted to install a ground source heat pump and everything else that I would need to make that work then the investment would be at least 10x the cost of replacing the new, more energy efficient gas boiler.

So where are the Green Party's tax policies making it more tax efficient for either owner occupiers or landlords to invest in renewables? Or are they just landlord-bashing to garner votes?

Beaver

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12:44 PM, 25th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Pete England - PaTMa Property Management at 25/06/2024 - 10:24
You said: "The financial argument of installing a heat pump within retrofit build does stack up. "

I think if I understand your post correctly you mean that it costs much more to run a ground source heat pump than a condensing gas boiler.

I am genuinely interested in this but whenever I look at the figures cost of replacing old gas boiler is £2.5-£3.5K. Cost of boreholes for ground source is around £5K per hole and you might need 2-3 of them. Cost of the equipment is about£3-4K so typically at least as much as the gas boiler if not more. In addition the power output of the ground source pump is much lower so you may need underfloor heating, new rads or both. You may need more insulation and after all that you still have the cost of fitting and making good on top of everything. In addition there are reports that the cost of ground source pumps deteriorates over time and as you've said, air source doesn't perform well in the winter. You probably also need a lot of photovoltaic panels.

So given the scale of all this investment it's not that you can't do it technically; the problem is that the numbers don't stack up.

So where are the Green Party policies allowing you to write this off against your personal tax bill if it's your main home? Where are the Green Party policies allowing you to write this off against rents if it's your business, or against your investment property? Where are the Green Party policies saying that charging no VAT on new build but charging VAT on retrofitting causes a lot of unnecessary destruction and emissions?

I can't see them on the Green Party website. Did I miss something?

Pete England - PaTMa Property Management

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15:22 PM, 25th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 25/06/2024 - 12:44
Beaver, I have a ASHP not a ground source. Most people don’t have the space for a ground source heat pump and drilling or digging is far too expensive, probably 25k . There is a grant of £7500 available for a new installation of a heat pump, so you can compare with a new gas boiler. Octopus Energy are installing for £8500 and yes you may have replace your radiators and pipework so will be disruptive and need to add additional cost.
HMRC currently allow for replacement costs to be expensed and I’m not sure if install in zero rated. Solar PV and batteries are zero rated.
I wouldn’t install a heat pump on any of my BTL’s without more government incentives. I have cavity wall insulation in most along with 300mm of loft. The EPC rules have to change as I don’t think a heat pump adds much in the way of points at the moment but this will change in future for sure. Electrification of heating our stock will come eventually , new build is a must do now, but retrofitting to our existing houses will be both painful and expensive and probably not in my lifetime.

I would rather fit a battery so tenants can charge on cheap nighttime energy rate and use during day.

Beaver

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15:29 PM, 25th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Pete England - PaTMa Property Management at 25/06/2024 - 15:22
Interesting thank you. I understand that ASHP won't necessarily work that well in very cold weather...it's basic physics. Maybe less of an impact if you've got PVs to power it but of course you still have to pay for the PVs along with all the rest of the cost.

A neighbour of mine has an EPC that says he could improve his EPC if he fitted a MicroCHP system that generates his electricity off his gas and recovers the waste heat. I do wonder whether that makes more sense than an ASHP.

I've seen widely varying reports of the cost and performance of ground source and one of the difficulties is getting reliable information. If you have to dig up your garden you need a very big garden and I would assume that would cost tens of thousands. The last costs I saw for drilling were about £5K per bore hole but it seemed that you might need 2-3 holes.

Pete England - PaTMa Property Management

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22:29 PM, 25th June 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 25/06/2024 - 15:29
Beaver I understand the Microchp boiler would cost more than a normal gas boiler but has potential to generate some power. I haven’t heard of anyone buying or testing the system, but you can apply for a seg export payment. I thought flow energy went bust a couple of years back, I sure they were putting a reasonable boiler package together. Do you know of a company that is producing a microchip for the domestic uk market? How much does the boiler cost, it might benefit large houses as boiler I believe needs to be powerful.. worth investigating but at some point any future government will tax Gas in homes if it wants reduce carbon. Not a popular election measure but something to encourage net zero targets.

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