Farmers 'unfairly penalised' in government green heat plans
Date of alert:
Monday, 21 March 2022
Farmers will be 'unfairly penalised' if government proposals to enforce electric heat technologies in rural areas are passed, a trade association has warned.
In a move to decarbonise rural heating, the heat and buildings strategy plans to phase out fossil fuel heating systems in over 100,000 off-grid businesses and 2 million homes.
The phase out will begin from 2026, which is nine years earlier than for those on England’s main gas grid.
Farms that rely on traditional fuels such as heating oil or LPG for space and water heating will be forced to install electrified technologies with expensive up-front install costs, such as heat pumps, if their current system breaks down.
Trade association Liquid Gas UK, which represents firms in the liquified petroleum gas industry, warned that this could impact rural office spaces, milking parlours, poultry sheds or grain stores.
It said the government should offer a range of options to rural businesses, including LPG and bioLPG, to support net zero ambitions.
“A blanket approach to the decarbonisation of rural heat fails to consider the complex needs of farming businesses,” said Sophia Haywood, director of public affairs at Liquid Gas UK.
“The agricultural community relies heavily on traditional fuels for heating and hot water - their energy needs are vast.”
Many farms are typically located off-the gas grid, particularly in rural strongholds such as the south west and north west of England.