Commercial Maintenance Services (CMS) UK Ltd is calling upon Business Secretary Alok Sharma to provide assurances that any government deadline for the decarbonisation of commercial heating systems will be “realistic, practical and affordable”.
Nic Smith, co-founder and managing director of CMS, is warning that the economy could be seriously harmed if businesses are left to shoulder the huge capital costs and responsibility of installing alternative technologies on a mass scale.
Instead, the Business Secretary must adopt a planned and measured approach to business when it comes to the introduction of carbon neutral heating systems.
He issued the plea after climate change minister Lord Duncan of Springbank revealed that a white paper is to consider whether the government should ban gas central heating from domestic homes.
Gas regulator Ofgem has already warned that Britain must change the way both homes and businesses are heated if the UK is to achieve its target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
The Gateshead-based firm, which installs, maintains and repairs business-critical systems nationwide – including central heating, electrical and refrigeration – predicts that a similar ban on commercial gas heating may also be on the agenda.
It argues that, while most accept the need to reduce carbon emissions to zero, it is unwise to impose a deadline ban without any major government support or detailed strategy being in place.
Nic Smith said: “I would urge the Business Secretary to consider realistic and workable options before imposing any similar gas boiler ban on businesses.
“Modern gas boilers are extremely efficient and will have an important role to play in the necessary transition period that will allow for the development of alternative technologies.
“CMS champions low carbon and carbon neutral heating sources but – like the EV network – we recognise such a step change in policy is unachievable in the short term without major government incentives and support.
“I would urge Alok Sharma to resist any temptation to enforce a deadline without a clearly structured plan for the introduction of realistic, practical and affordable alternatives.”
Emerging technologies such as heat networks, hydrogen and biomethane are still in their infancy. The first prototype hydrogen boilers are not expected to be unveiled until later this year.
Other options include air and ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers fuelled by eco friendly wood pellets. However, all require significant investment and are not always a viable option for every commercial building.