THE chief executive officer of one of Worcester's largest employers says there is "confusion" over the government's new 'gas boiler ban'.

The government announced on Tuesday, (October 19), that grants of £5,000 will be available to households to replace their gas boiler with a low carbon heat pump, as part of efforts to cut emissions from homes.

The government announced the grants as it confirmed a target for all new heating system installations to be low carbon by 2035 - but insisted families are not going to be forced to remove their existing fossil fuel boilers.

But asking for clarity Carl Arntzen, CEO of Worcester Bosch, said: "The strategy does not refer to any legislation behind a boiler ban, so it’s not surprising that there is confusion among installers and homeowners."

An air-source heat pump costs between £6,000 and £18,000, depending on the type installed and the property size.

Although up to 25 million homes nationally have gas boilers, the grants will fund just 90,000 pumps over three years.

Mr Arntzen continued: "Although the government’s heat and buildings strategy does look like a clear indication of ongoing investment, it doesn’t go far enough.

“When considering a heat pump there are many factors to assess which are not considered (in the strategy), such as the property’s suitability.

"A home may need to be adapted to accommodate a heat pump, such as resizing radiators and making space for hot water cylinders, which carry cost implications.

"Therefore, the proposed grants may help with the cost to purchase a heat pump, but there will still be costly investment required from homeowners in existing properties.

"Whilst it is encouraging to see that hydrogen is still on the agenda and is referred to within the strategy, it is a shame to see that a decision around hydrogen won’t be made until five years from now.

"With hydrogen-ready boilers already successfully trialled, they could be a strong alternative to fossil fuel boilers on the market today – yet this strategy seems to omit them.

"We are committed to the decarbonisation of heating and hot water in the UK and will continue to work with government and industry to offer a technology agnostic future, while educating and inspiring homeowners to make greener choices for home heating.”

Worcester Bosch has traditional produced gas and oil boilers but has moved into renewable technologies, such as the production of heat pumps and solar water heating systems.