Boiler campaign gathers strength

The construction industry campaign to persuade the government to introduce a boiler scrappage scheme now has cross -party support as well as cross industry-support and its own website.

The scheme petition on the Downing Street website ( now has 816 signatures and the campaign website features supporting messages from Martin Horwood MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Minister, who says: “What a brilliant idea. As a green counter-recessionary measure this is far more likely to save significant carbon emissions than a car scrappage scheme.

“We urgently need to tackle emissions at local and household level and this would make a real difference while helping to protect threatened jobs as well.”

Mark Lazarowicz, Labour MP for Edinburgh North & Leith is also supporting the campaign: “Rising fuel prices and the need to help families heat their homes affordably are serious issues that I have worked hard to address, as well as pressing for more rapid progress against climate change,” he says.

“I’m supporting the Reheat Britain campaign because a boiler scrappage scheme would not only help the plumbing and heating industries through the recession, it would help tackle these urgent problems as well.”

Sian Berry, 2008 Green Mayor of London candidate says: “As soon as I saw this petition, I knew I had to sign it straight away. There’s no downside to the boiler scrappage idea – it’ll help small and medium-sized businesses across the country, boost UK manufacturing and help homeowners cut their bills and their carbon.”

The petition was set up by plumbers merchant Mick Williams, managing director of Portsmouth-based Williams & Co. He says: “As soon as the car scrappage scheme was announced I thought how much more successful a ‘boiler scrappage’ scheme would be.

“It is estimated that there are still 4.5 million old boilers that are rated at less than 70% efficient. Replacing these with modern condensing gas boilers and controls could save millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide pouring into our atmosphere each year.

“This scheme would also stimulate demand for gas boilers and help manufacturers, plumbers merchants and Gas Safe heating engineers, boosting thousands of small businesses just when the economy needs it.”

Industry supporters include Mark Kelly, CEO Baxi Group UK & Ireland,

Charlie Mullins, MD of Pimlico Plumbers and Alan Ball, managing director of PTS who was interviewed for the BBC TV programme Working Lunch about the campaign.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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