Heat pumps ‘worse’ than gas boilers for warming up homes, admits Energy Secretary
As the government finalized its heating and buildings strategy, Mr Kwarteng addressed concerns about the cost of the policy by insisting that ministers would not try to achieve the goal by “writing checks” alone.
“We’re not going to get to a hydrogen economy just by writing government checks,” he says.
“We’ll do that from the government, yes, by writing some checks if I want to put it bluntly, but critically, by attracting private investment.”
Warns of a “serious cost of living problem”, Mr Kwarteng insists that higher taxes are not inevitable to fund the green technology transition, adding, “We need to incentivize economic activity. And you are not incentivizing economic activities. ” “You are not incentivizing investment, you are not incentivizing work by increasing taxes.”
Mr Kwarteng insists that the cost of new technology will go down “very quickly” as companies start investing in alternatives to gas boilers, stating that consumers could “benefit” in just five years.
In remarks that could spark a dispute with renewable energy companies, he claims that “the point where we no longer need to subsidize offshore wind farms” is “almost there”.
Mr Johnson has said he wants 600,000 heat pumps each year to replace gas boilers by 2028. While gas heaters can pump 60 ° C of water into radiators, the government’s Climate Change Committee assumes that heat pumps operate at 50 ° C.
Mr Kwarteng admitted that he currently has a gas boiler but said he plans to buy a heat pump.
Different types of green heating solutions will suit different types of properties, he said.
Mr Johnson has admitted that heat pumps are currently unaffordable for many people at “about ten grand a pop”.
Mr. Kwarteng said, “I have … a gas boiler … but I’m in a position where I can afford this transition because I make a certain amount of money and I want to make this transition. But I would be very reluctant to force things on people who cannot afford the transition. We have to make it work for people. “
Our green industrial revolution will grow the economy with conservative free market principles
He is the cabinet minister tasked with delivering on the Conservative pledge to bring net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
But amid growing fears on the Tory’s back benches about the financial burden the transition could place on consumers, Kwasi Kwarteng expresses his condolences to those warning of higher taxes.
When asked whether some form of higher taxes is inevitable to finance the transition to net zero, Mr. Kwarteng simply says “no”.
“While I’m at it, I think there is a serious problem with the cost of living,” said the Secretary of the Economy and Energy, in remarks expressing a concern that is being debated at the highest levels of government.
“Given the state of public finances, with all the troubles we’ve really faced as a nation, I would heroically say that there must be tax and cost concerns.
“The government has always wanted to protect vulnerable people in this transition, which is absolutely right. And the other is that this is a gradual process.”
Some reports suggest that “next week we’re going to be sending people out to pull cauldrons. That won’t happen … and it will be a very orderly process.”
Long considered one of the top Tory market leaders, Mr Kwarteng is not only concerned about the potential impact of higher taxes on individuals already struggling amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but believes it is stifling the economy could.
“I am always very skeptical about tax increases”
Regarding the prospects for tax increases in general, the former city analyst says: “Within the government, I am always very skeptical about tax increases.
“Yes, I think it’s a desire to balance the budget. I think the Chancellor’s instinct is absolutely correct. But I am always cautious that at the end of the day we have to incentivize economic activity. And you don’t incentivize economic activity, you don’t incentivize investment, you don’t incentivize work by increasing taxes. As simple as that.”
The 46-year-old economy minister says there are “times in our history when we have forgotten about British entrepreneurship” and “have taken a much more statistical approach to the nation of small business owners.” My job as Secretary of Commerce is to promote this spirit. “
The net-zero goal enshrined in law under Theresa May inevitably involves a certain amount of statism, and it is opposition to the government dictation that fuels some of the treacherous Tory criticisms of this policy.
But Mr Kwarteng, who was appointed in January, insists that the heavy work can be done by the private sector, with early government funding, to kickstart new green industries and help keep the poorest households out of big bills.
“Great economic opportunity”
Politics itself offers a “huge economic opportunity”. A whiteboard in the Secretary of Commerce’s office lists a series of major investments recently announced by companies at the forefront of Britain’s “green industrial revolution” – topped off by Nissan’s £ 1 billion battery “gigafactory”, which owns the auto plant of the company in Sunderland will enable the production of electric vehicles.
“What we are doing in the UK is using net zero to stimulate economic growth and jobs too. I think this is a great historic opportunity.”