CHMM Backtrack

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I wrote back in December about how the price of new gas boilers was rising because manufacturers were passing on the fines imposed on them by government.  From HMG's perspective, of course, these are not fines, but are branded as 'incentives' and were designed to persuade manufacturers to make more heat pumps.  No more, there’s been a change of heart at the Dept of Heat Pumps.

The government’s “clean heat strategy" had a target to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028 and was to start in April.  In this, manufacturers would need to replace 4% of boiler sales with heat pumps or face an incentive payment / fine of £3,000 for every installation they missed.  The same sort of incentive is in place for car manufacturers.

Well before April, it became clear, however, that manufacturers were already increasing boiler prices (by £120 a year) to offset the fines.

A government climbdown?  A U-Turn?  A humiliation?  Or merely an admission of a complete failure to think through the likely consequences of an action?

The Times has more detail including a government comment that tries to make the best of a bad job whilst shifting the blame:

“Boiler manufacturers have saddled families with indefensible price hikes — that is not right. We’re looking again at the policy, and expect manufacturers to do the right thing and remove their price hikes immediately.”

Net zero is certainly a remarkable thing.  I can remember the time when manufacturers produced goods for sale based solely on the idea that people might like to buy them to address a need, or perhaps a whim.  Now, we have what are essentially Soviet-style 5-year plans based on what government wants.

And they wonder why people and companies revolt.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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  • I always read with interest any governmental actions to impose 'net zero' on the populace in order to combat climate change. Yet the discussions needed about what net zero really means are rare to find, especially at governmental levels. Even if the technology of renewable electrical generation may be 'zero?' the manufacture and disposal of said technologies is as dirty as burning fossil fuels directly. In a gaderene rush to net zero, we seem to be accepting policies that have no relationship to real world consequences.