Sunak’s announcement provides households with an extended timeline to install heat pumps or other low-carbon alternatives, with only 80% of gas boilers expected to be phased out by 2035. Sunak clarified, “We will never impose mandatory replacement of existing boilers with heat pumps. The switch will only be required when replacing the boiler, and even then, not until 2035.”


The Impact on Landlords & Tenants

Landlords are not immediately burdened with expenses. However, criticism has emerged due to concerns that renters might face higher heating costs in poorly insulated properties. The National Housing Federation, representing housing associations in England, cautioned that abandoning these targets “could result in increased bills for people in the coming years.” Additionally, the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) estimated that this legislative change could potentially cost UK households nearly £8 billion more in bills over the next decade.  


To mitigate the impact, there will be increased support through the boiler upgrade scheme, offering grants to partially cover the replacement cost of gas boilers with biomass boilers or heat pumps. Sunak announced a 50% increase in grants, allowing individuals to access up to £7,500. Furthermore, Octopus Energy has offered to install heat pumps for free when leveraging this government support.


The Impact on Net Zero & The Economy

While this news is welcomed by some, not everyone is satisfied with these developments. Kate Hendeson, CEO of the National Housing Federation, expressed disappointment, stating, “It’s disheartening to witness the government stepping back from its commitments to achieving net zero, especially in enhancing the energy efficiency of our homes. Improving home efficiency benefits not only the environment but also boosts the economy by creating jobs and, importantly, saves money.”