Yesterday, Rishi Sunak announced a range of upcoming changes coming to Government policies supporting our country’s transition to Net Zero. He stated that it was a “new approach” designed to protect “hard pressed British families” from rising living costs.
Amongst the list of updates, the most notable change was made to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) grant. The grants available for air and ground source heat pumps will now be elevated 50% to £7,500 per installation, while the grant for biomass boilers will stay at the original £5,000. The changes hope to boost the uptake of heat pumps and make the low-carbon technology a more viable option for thousands of homes across the UK.
The Government has also postponed the ban on new fossil fuel heating systems in off-grid homes until 2035, stating those facing the greatest difficulties in transitioning to low-carbon alternatives will also be exempt from making this switch.
The ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars has been delayed until 2035, allowing businesses more time to prepare, but it has been reiterated that individuals will still be able to purchase pre-owned fossil fuel vehicles past this date.
The Prime Minister has also abandoned the idea of forcing landlords to enhance the energy efficiency of their properties, citing concerns that certain property owners would have been compelled to undertake costly improvements within two years, ultimately affecting tenants as well.
Net Zero Targets
Despite the policy changes, the UK will not be compelled to alter its emissions targets, and the Prime Minister is resolute in our commitment to fulfill our international obligations regarding fighting climate change. He stated that “this country is proud to be a world leader in reaching Net Zero by 2050. But we simply won’t achieve it unless we change”. It’s hoped that the policy amendments will now provide the country with a realistic path to achieving our Net Zero targets that will ease the burden on lower-income households.
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