Fitzmaurice: Banning oil and gas boilers would be ‘lunacy’

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has criticised mooted Government plans to ban the installation of gas and oil boilers in new and existing homes as ‘lunacy’.

A ban on boilers is understood to be one of a number of measures being finalised by the Government as it seeks to tackle the energy crisis. It would apply to newly-built homes from next year and to replacement installations in existing homes possibly as soon as 2025.

“The Government’s proposal literally could not come at a worse time. Middle Ireland is being squeezed from every side with 30 per cent of homes spending 10 per cent of their income on home heating,” Deputy Fitzmaurice said.

“Spinning this move as a response to the energy crisis is disingenuous. The facts surrounding alternative air-to-water home heating systems are simple. If you don’t retrofit your entire home the air-to-water systems currently available on the market will rob you on electricity.

“I honestly don’t know what (Environment) Minister (Eamon) Ryan is thinking. His own department administers a Warmer Homes Scheme which currently supports retrofitting projects, 95 per cent of which install oil and gas heating systems. At present, the Department of Education will not give schools a grant to upgrade their heating systems unless they install a gas boiler”.

The Independent TD said if the proposal were to be implemented it would “cripple ordinary people who are already struggling to survive”.

“Honestly, If I thought for one second that this proposal made an ounce of sense I would have no hesitation in supporting it. But it simply doesn’t. Governments must govern with the consent of the people.

“This proposal is an example of the Government trying to rule with an iron fist. I’m sick and tired of the Green Party, with the support of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, imposing their nonsensical agenda on the people of this country in the name of progress”.