St Helier Deputy Rob Ward said reducing the carbon emissions from heating domestic properties could be a significant step towards achieving the Island’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral within the next eight years.
He said the government should make money available for energy-saving additions such as solar panels, home insulation and heat pumps, adding: ‘There seems to be money for everything else.’
Last week, the UK government launched a scheme to encourage homeowners to switch to a low-carbon heating system when their current gas boiler needed replacing.
Around a fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions are thought to come from heating homes. From April next year, homeowners in England and Wales will be offered £5,000 grants to replace old gas boilers with a more eco-friendly solution, such as a heat pump.
The scheme will run for three years. Although gas boilers will not be banned in the UK, the hope is that no new ones will be sold after 2035.
Environmental campaigners believe it is too small a step, a sentiment shared by Deputy Ward.
‘What the UK government is planning is not enough but it’s more than Jersey is doing,’ he said.
‘We need to get serious about this. If we are serious about addressing climate change and protecting people from fuel poverty, then we should be taking action like this.’
In 2019, Deputy Ward lodged a successful proposition which called for Jersey to become carbon-neutral by 2030.
But he argued that, since then, the government had made little progress towards this goal and said that the States Assembly had rejected calls to exempt environmentally-friendly home-improvement products from GST.