Plan for gas and oil boilers is sheer folly

 

Sir, – If the All-of-Government Plan to Tackle Climate Disruption is to include a ban on the installation of gas and oil boilers in new homes (as reported in your 18May 18th edition), then we might despair at the simplistic reductionist attitude to policymaking which it demonstrates.

Strategies which are based on particular technologies, rather then particular outcomes, are inherently flawed.

The folly of such an approach can be demonstrated in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)’s current refusal to support any projects which utilise fossil fuels.

Replacing a 15-year-old boiler with a modern condensing boiler can reduce consumption by more than 30 per cent, and emissions by as much as half, but no support is offered to the 660,000 Irish homeowners who rely on home heating oil to replace older units.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland offers grants to support the installation of heat pumps but the uptake of such grants is extremely low because to be “heat-pump ready” (according the SEAI’s own website), a dwelling requires a heat-loss indicator of 2 Watts/Kelvin/m2. The retrofitting of homes to reach this standard is very costly – often in the region of €50,000 to €60,000.

The Government’s refusal to fund initiatives which use any fossil fuels prevents it from supporting quick and simple projects which can halve the carbon emissions from hundreds of thousands of Irish homes (not to mention providing significant cost-savings to consumers).

Rather than banning particular technologies or fuels, Government should support any initiative which substantially contributes to our transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy and society. – Yours, etc,

KEVIN McPARTLAN,

Chief Executive Officer,

Irish Petroleum

Industry,

Fitzwilliam Place,

Dublin 2.