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Minister hints at gas boilers ban but says market should drive change

Gas boilers

Minister hints at gas boilers ban but says market should drive change

Gas boilers could be banned in future but the government believes the market should drive changes to home heating systems, the cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has said, amid criticism of the limited grants system for heat pumps.

Ministers had been under pressure to set a date to ban the installation of new gas boilers in existing homes, but on Tuesday announced the installation of low-carbon heat pumps would be encouraged with a grant system of £5,000 for up to 90,000 homes in England and Wales.

The grant would make the installation a similar cost to a new gas boiler, but green campaigners have said the move would expand the greener system to a minuscule proportion of homes and does not set a date for a full ban.

Speaking on Tuesday as the government launched its heat and buildings strategy, one of a number of announcements made ahead of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, Trevelyan hinted the installation of new gas boilers would be banned in the future.

“In the short term, yes, of course this is a voluntary scheme … There will be a point at which that changes but, yes, for now that’s the case,” she told Sky News.

The international trade secretary said she believed the market would eventually change to make the greener switch more affordable. “At the moment we’re encouraging the market to drive those changes,” she told the BBC.

“What we’re seeing already is energy companies already moving into, not only providing us with energy, but encouraging their customers to shift to heat pumps and looking to find ways to help do that – your energy provider will be part of that solution.

“In 10 years’ time, we want to look back and think we’ve actually made a difference as individuals, because that’s as important as the big chunky things like offshore wind turbines and nuclear power stations.”

The full strategy is expected to be published on Tuesday and will include measures totalling £3.9bn to decarbonise buildings and how they are heated, with a confirmed 2035 target for all new heating systems in UK homes to be energy efficient.

Caroline Jones of Greenpeace UK said efforts to decarbonise housing were being hampered by unambitious policies and inadequate funding. She said: “More money must be provided to rapidly increase the number of homeowners switching to heat pumps over the next few years, with full costs covered for families on low incomes.

“A clearer signal would have been a phase-out of new boilers before 2035. And all of this must be delivered with a fully funded, nationwide programme to insulate our homes at a scale and speed that the government hasn’t fully grasped.”

Under the plans, which the minister said would support up to 240,000 jobs by 2035, the £5,000 grants will be available from April next year, and should eliminate any price differential for heat pumps or similar systems. The plan suggests as the market expands, the price for such systems should drop by between a quarter and a half by 2025.

The wider £3.9bn of funding for greening homes will be targeted through a series of existing schemes, with others aimed at public buildings.

Ed Miliband, the shadow business secretary, said it was a “meagre, unambitious and wholly inadequate response”.

He added: “Families up and down the country desperately needed Labour’s 10-year plan investing £6bn a year for home insulation and zero carbon heating to cut bills by £400 per year, improve our energy security, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions.”

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2023: NBC Tasks Broadcasters On Professionalism

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has tasked broadcasters to handle political campaigns with professionalism.

The director-general of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah said this on Monday at a multi-stakeholders dialogue held in Abuja.

As campaigns for the 2023 elections are set to begin on September 28, Ilelah asked broadcasters to ensure not to allow hate speech or fake news on their platforms.

“This is in addition to ensuring equity in airtime allocation and coverage of political parties’ activities, particularly during prime times,” he said.

“It is also the time for you to make money from political adverts and campaigns, but ensure that this is done within the ambit of law.

“Broadcasters are also required to handle live political rallies with care and due professionalism. This is in addition to studio-based live political interviews/broadcasts. Because of the sensitivities of such programmes, broadcasters are advised to install delay mechanisms.

“Remember that broadcast stations are held responsible for any breach. The stations shall, therefore, assume and accept editorial responsibility”, he added.

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IPOB Accuses Police Of Blackmail

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has reacted to a statement credited to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, linking ESN and IPOB to a planned attack on political campaigns and the forthcoming 2023 elections.

Director of Media and Public Relations of the group, Comrade Emma Powerful, in a statement on Monday, said the IG of Police should “leave IPOB volunteers and ESN Operatives alone to focus on things that matter instead of trying to get them involved in Nigeria Government and its fraudulent political processes.”

He also added that Nigeria’s security agencies were fond of blackmailing the organization with allegations of sundry crimes.

The statement read: “If Nigeria Police have concluded their plans to commit crimes during political campaigns and tag it on IPOB and ESN they will fail as usual.

“Any time Nigeria Security Agencies raise a false alarm, know that they have planned attacks to blackmail IPOB and ESN Operatives but we cannot allow them to continue their business of blackmail.

“These Security agencies have allegedly killed innocent people in an effort to blackmail IPOB but Chukwu Okike Abiama (God) has always vindicated us,” they said.

“We have always maintained that we are not interested in anything that has to do with Nigeria let alone taking any side in their fraudulent political process. IPOB are not Zoo politicians. The only political process that IPOB will participate in is an UN-supervised Biafra Referendum that will usher in Biafra Sovereignty and Independence”, he added.

 

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ASUU: F.G Makes U-turn, Withdraws Circular Ordering Resumption

The Federal Government on Monday withdrew its earlier circular which directed vice chancellors, pro-chancellors and governing councils to re-open federal universities.

This is coming hours after the government, through the National Universities Commission (NUC), directed the opening of varsities in compliance with National Industrial Court order.

A circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 was addressed to all vice chancellors, pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities ordering them to re-open universities.

Hours after, in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which was also signed by the Director, Finance and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.

The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022” partly read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022 on the above subject.

“Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn. All pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils, as well as vice-chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards.”

The university teachers began a one-month warning strike on February 14, 2022, and extended it thrice after the Federal Government failed to meet up with its demands.

 

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