CLA rallies against proposed ban on new oil boilers from 2026

One million – largely rural – households rely on oil boilers. The CLA's Mike Sims blogs on why heat pumps aren't yet the answer for all
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Under the proposals, off-grid homes will not be able to replace oil boilers with a like-for-like replacement from 2026.

The CLA is leading calls for the Government to scrap a proposed ban on new oil boilers from 2026, urging officials not to target ‘the highest-hanging fruit first’.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has been consulting on new regulations to start phasing them out in homes and non-domestic buildings off the gas grid in just three years’ time, sparking concerns among the estimated one million – largely rural – households that rely on them.

Under the proposals, off-grid homes will not be able to replace oil boilers with a like-for-like replacement from 2026.

The CLA strongly believes a 2026 phase out for off-grid homes is almost a decade too soon. The high cost and unreliability of current low carbon heating will hit thousands of older and wildly divergent buildings – targeting houses where the installation knowledge is most lacking.

With urban homes not needing to wind down fossil fuel heating until the mid-2030s, the government has gone against all conventional wisdom by targeting the highest-hanging fruit first.

Rather than mandating and funding heat pumps only, there needs to be flexibility so people can choose the most effective low-carbon heating for their homes.

The CLA is in no way opposed to environmental improvements, but there are easier places to start than this. Rural properties often face particular challenges compared with urban housing, and while heat pumps are an option they are not feasible or cost-effective for all.

Affordable and realistic solutions

A number of CLA members have reported a plethora of issues with heat pumps. One installed an air source heat pump but had to replace it three times in a decade, and finding an appropriate plumber or engineers proved difficult. He ultimately replaced the heat pump with a new oil boiler.

Another member was quoted more than £10,000, compared to £3,000 for an oil boiler, with a lack of grant funding and shortage of engineers in his area making it an unviable option.

The government says it will confirm its plans when it publishes its response to the consultation ‘in due course’, probably this autumn.

The CLA will continue to lobby on members’ behalf and work with government to find sustainable solutions that are affordable and realistic.

Energy efficiency targets – a CLA win

After a major lobbying effort from the CLA, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities recently announced an overhaul of energy efficiency targets for landlords, in the hope that pressure on the housing market might be eased.

The government said that the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) – which measure the energy efficiency of buildings – is in need of 'fundamental reform'.

Read more.

Key contact:

Mike Sims Senior Communications Manager (national & south east)