It has been announced that the Boiler Replacement Scheme in Northern Ireland is to come to an end. Stormont’s Department for Communities (DfC) made the announcement and have said that the grant scheme has been cut due to the limited budget that they have to juggle with.
Replaced Old Boilers With New More Efficient Ones
The Boiler Replacement Scheme was introduced in a bid to help households replace their old boilers with new, more efficient, economical and eco-friendly ones. It was available to households that had a total annual income of less than £40,000 coming in and the ones who applied would receive a grant of up to £1,000 towards their replacement boiler.
The scheme doled out nearly 50,000 of these grants over the last 10 years at a cost of over £30 million, but now the DfC are no longer accepting any new applications as they say that the budgetary constraints they are working under are just too prohibitive to carry on. However they did say that they would carry on with the Affordable Warmth Scheme, which is there to help people on lower incomes with such energy efficiency measures as insulation and double glazing etc.
Is This Another Move In The Wrong Direction By The Government
Stormont has had an energy strategy in place to move the country towards its net zero target, which is supposed to be hit in 2050, but critics will point out that this is another move in the wrong direction by the government, with very little progress being made so far to lessen the impact of global warming.
Of course they are not alone in rowing back their promises to cut harmful emissions. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week announced, that he was delaying the banning of the sale of oil, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and new coal heating for off-gas-grid homes. This will now be pushed back to 2035.
Warned Against Watering Down Environmental Policies
He announced other measures as well which will delay the move towards a carbon zero future, his argument being that these measures should be brought in more gradually in a bid to ensure they will be affordable to households across the UK. However his climate advisers have repeatedly warned him against watering down his environmental policies, saying it would send a very bad message to the rest of the world and that we would fall behind in the race to embrace the new technologies and make the most of their future economic benefits. Indeed, the the EU and the US have announced large investments in low-carbon technologies to boost their economies.
Time will tell whether this policy change will turn out to be the right call, one thing that is certain is that we do all have to cut our carbon emissions and we can’t delay this for too much longer.