Brits may be allowed more time to swap over dirty boilers in major row-back plot

BRITS would be allowed up to five more years to swap out their dirty boilers in a major row-back plotted by Boris Johnson.

The PM is looking at pushing back a ban on sales of all new gas boilers by 2035 after a furious backlash over spiralling costs.

The shift would give more time for new heat-pumps and hydrogen boilers to come down in price, and for businesses to pump extra cash into shifting people over gradually.

Brits will be incentivised to buy an eco-friendly heat pump next time their boiler breaks down, but would be given extra time to buy one if they want to before the ban kicks in.

That may mean that working boilers could have to be taken out before 2050 or Britain would be at risk of failing to hit Net Zero targets – something ministers are desperate to avoid.

Government insiders are growing worried about the eye-watering cost of the PM's eco-plans – which is set to slap the Treasury with another £400billion bill on top of Covid repayments.

The Sun can reveal the Treasury have also scotched proposals to issue millions of households with 'green cheques' worth hundreds of pounds to compensate them for making their homes greener.

Ministers were eyeing up plans to give families annual payments of hundreds of pounds to offset the cost of higher gas bills, and encourage them to switch over to electric instead.

However, only the poorest Brits are expected to get grants to cover the entire cost of swapping, leaving middle-class families to pay some of the bill.

One Whitehall source said: "Clearly carbon cheques are the answer, but HMT vetoed it.

"There will be no ban on boilers just yet – we were going to by 2035 but now that's not happening."

A full strategy is set to be published in the autumn ahead of Britain hosting the COP26 climate summit with 100 leaders from around the world.

Britain's 28 million homes contribute more than a third towards UK carbon emissions, which must be slashed to zero by 2050.

Ministers have already binned the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 to slash transport emissions from gas-guzzling vehicles.

But insiders fear that while the technology is soaring ahead for cars, heating strategies and gadgets are still some way off.

Heat pumps are not compatible with most flats as they need to sit on the ground outside, and ministers awaiting results of national trials on hydrogen.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told MPs last week: "In 2021 its difficult to know the capacity of what these different technologies will be..

"Diesel was going to be the great answer to pollution… of course, 20 years on that was a mistake. It's a balanced approach."

Ministers are already facing a growing backlash from backbench Tory MPs over the Net Zero costs, which have yet to be spelled out to the public.

Climate experts and forecasters say the cost of acting now will be far less than letting it run out of control and get even worse in the decades to come.

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Energy minister Anne Marie Trevelyan said last night: "The reality is, if you don't invest upfront, you spend a lot more fixing the problem further down the line.

"The PM is 100 per cent committed to this, and he understands the urgency."

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