New deadline proposed for rural homeowners
Amid the declarations of NetZero urgency a significant proportion of rural homeowners were inadvertently discriminated against, in effect being asked to make an expensive transition to green energy 10 years sooner than those in urban areas where gas heating is predominant.
25% of rural homes are not connected to the gas network making them more reliant on other fossil fuels whether they want to be or not. Rural dwellers also on average earn £2,000 less per annum and are more exposed to the cost-of-living crisis.
The ban on installing oil, LPG boilers and new coal heating in 2026 for off-gas-grid homes and forcing a heat-pump-first approach ahead of other technologies was significantly disadvantaging those homeowners.
The latest proposal by Govt is to postpose the phase-out of fossil fuel boilers, including gas, until 2035 when gas will be phased out. This addresses the imbalance.
The Rural Services Network has been championing this change for some time, saying: “Rural is so much more than a place to put wind or solar farms. They [rural communities] are home to people who work together to implement things like Community Energy Schemes. Don’t dictate, give rural communities the right tools and fair funding and they will lead the way in the Net Zero* challenge.”
* There is continuing debate about NetZero, but in any event we would suggest the only practicable national approach to NetZero is through wholesale development of nuclear generation capacity.