House in the countryside

Boiler ban risks pushing rural residents into fuel poverty

Boiler ban risks pushing rural residents into fuel poverty

  • 69% of households not connected to the gas grid would be unable to afford an electric heating system
  • 58% of households not connected to the gas grid believe government’s 2026 boiler ban to be unfair
  • 58% of households not connected to the gas grid want proposed 2026 boiler ban scrapped

Almost three-quarters of homeowners whose properties are not connected to the gas network would struggle to afford a new heating system under proposed government plans, new polling has revealed.

The research shows that the Government’s proposed 2026 ban on fossil fuel boilers for those homes not connected to the gas grid risks pushing rural homeowners into fuel poverty, with 69% of households unable to afford a new electric heating system.

The polling, undertaken on behalf of Liquid Gas UK, also showed that those homeowners not connected to the gas network felt the 2026 fossil fuel boiler ban was unfair compared the 2035 government ambition to move away from fossil fuels for those connected the gas network. When asked if government should abandon the policy, almost 60% felt that it should.

Under plans proposed by government, homes currently using oil, LPG or solid-fuel heating systems would be unable to replace their heating system like-for-like in the event it should fail from 2026. However, research shows that replacing such a system with an electric alternative, along with the required energy efficiency works, would cost between £15,000 – £30,000 for rural homeowners.

Fuel poverty statistics released by Government last month showed that households living in rural areas were almost 40% more likely to be in fuel poverty than urban homeowners. The fuel poverty statistics also showed that for households living in properties not on the gas grid, 20.1% are fuel poor compared to 12.3 per cent on the gas grid.

David Jones, Conservative MP for Clwyd West commented: “The owners of off-grid homes are in danger of becoming the losers in the race to Net Zero. Off-grid properties, many of which are poorly insulated, are harder to heat by the methods currently preferred by the Government.”

“Current plans risk putting members of our rural communities even further into fuel poverty, Government should give greater consideration to the other heating options available for off-grid properties.”

George Webb, Chief Executive of Liquid Gas UK, said:

“Government’s current plans risk pushing more rural households into fuel poverty. These results clearly show that that an electrification-first approach to decarbonising rural homes is both unaffordable and unfair.

“Government urgently needs to re-think its 2026 boiler ban for homes not connected to the gas grid and needs to ensure we are offering rural communities a choice in how they decarbonise their homes.”