The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

New Milton Discussion Group

January Online Discussion/Zoom Meeting

With the turmoil of 2020, it is hard to think of new questions but some non-Brexit questions have stood out:

Question 3. How will individual households afford to replace gas boilers and cookers in the near future as well as buying electric cars?


1. I think people will struggle.

The government said from 2023 all new houses should not have gas boilers installed. This has now been withdrawn but for the government to reach their target of net zero emissions by 2050, gas will have to be replaced.

85% of houses have gas central heating. Some replacement heat pumps for central heating will also need larger radiators to be fitted.

As unemployment will increase for some time due to Covid-19, and some people are already poor, unless electricity prices are seriously reduced, as well as the price of electric cars reducing, I cannot see how this will all happen.

2. Reality is that there will have to be Government incentives or subsidies for these changes.

I think that once electric cars become more popular, prices will decrease and they will then pay for themselves in the long term.

3. Excellent question!

It still seems extraordinary that:
- there are major manufacturing countries responsible for much of the greenhouse gases and will not change
- some countries cannot be persuaded to stop destroying rain forests

So little ole Britain is taking draconian steps to reduce its contribution to global warming; some of which will themselves lead to global warming (and no doubt increased imports), e.g. electricity generation

We need a balanced approach to energy generation and a gradual introduction of alternative technologies (which will probably be delayed and/or expensive)

4. Apparently there could be a Green Homes Grant available, providing up to £10,000 for low - income families, towards the cost of a new, ‘£10,000 to £20,000’ heat pump.

If they cannot afford the difference between the grant and the total cost, they will borrow the money and go into debt.

With regard to electric cars, nearly half of drivers cannot afford to switch, despite the small incentive of zero road tax.

Again, the only option for low - income families will be to borrow money and go into debt.

5. Summary of a conversation rather than one individual's answer:

Projects like this should be phased in.

Gas Boilers/Cookers

Have finite life and would have to be replaced some time

Gas could be capped off

If replacements electric, could avoid expense of installation of new technologies

Electric Cars

Working on developing and manufacturing improved batteries, which might require more use of energy

Electricity Generation

Danger of putting all our electric eggs in one basket unless afforable alternative technologies found

6. Gas Boilers/Cookers

People will not rush to change.

Electric Cars

How can we afford more electicity when bills are so high?

Can we cope with the volume; it is known for us to have power cuts.


Industries are exploring energy alternatives:

Gas - Wonder why we have not discovered ways of making a cleaner petroleum product.

Electric Cars - would like to see more use of hydrogen.

7. For some on restricted budgets this will be a big issue, no doubt. But, it is not new...ALL boilers need replacement at some point.

However, cookers can go on forever. So, only option will be a) government subsidy and b) a loan of some sorts.

I doubt that an electric car will be seen as essential as a boiler...therefore, limited help will be available. As price drops affordability will increase.

Huge research into battery technology will also result in better efficiency, battery life and lower cost. All of this will mean greater affordability and lower operating costs.

8. For quite a while the government will have to subsidize the boilers.

I think in time electric cars will reduce in price to be affordable however this will take a long time.

9. Zoom Meeting 21 January 2021

We thought that though there was pressure to build affordable housing, particularly for younger people, we needed new houses to have sustainable/green features like insulation and solar panels.

We needed domestic electrical products to be cheaper and it was hoped that there would be more demand/production to bring prices down.

Nonetheless, we thought that some people would not be able to afford all of the new technologies unless there were Government subsidies or loans.

We thought that the mass introduction of electric cars was definitely coming but that technological development was needed.

The Government had set an ambitious target (perhaps to concentrate minds) even though the infrastructure was not there yet.

Industry was working on solutions including using solar/windfarm energy to produce hydrogen which could run electrical generators.

Colin Bower
21 January 2021

January 2021 Index

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