Off-grid boiler ban pushes Tories further away from rural voters

Thursday 23rd March 2023

New polling released today (23rd March 2023) shows the Government’s current plans to ban fossil-fuel boilers from 2026 for homes not connected to the gas-grid is deeply unpopular with rural voters.

The polling, commissioned by Liquid Gas UK and undertaken by Focal Data found almost half (44.1%) of homeowners not connected to the gas grid would be more inclined to vote for a political party if it pledged to scrap the 2026 fossil-fuel boiler ban for off-grid homes.

The 2026 boiler ban for off-grid properties is nine years earlier than for properties on the natural gas grid, something 58% of off-grid homeowners think is unfair and believe Government should either delay or scrap all together.  

Commenting on the findings, CEO of Liquid Gas UK, George Webb said: “The polling shows the 2026 off-grid boiler ban is hugely unpopular across the UK”

“If government continue to push ahead with this policy, there will clearly be electoral consequences for the many “blue-wall” MPs worried about losing their seat at the next election.”

Mr Webb suggests that allowing rural consumers to install renewable ready boilers beyond 2026 powered by bioLPG and other renewable liquid gases currently in development could be a popular solution to achieve rural net-zero:  “Government should consider the benefits of renewable liquid gases as an alternative to electric technologies in meeting the energy needs and nuances of rural homes and businesses.

“As a low-carbon, drop-in alternative to traditional fossil fuels, renewable liquid gases offer rural homeowners greater choice and reduce the risk of financial burdens in the path to decarbonisation,” he adds. 

The polling also shows a large political impact for the Conservatives. When asked about voting intention at the next General Election, just one fifth (20.7%) of voters in areas not connected to the gas grid intend to support the Conservatives, whilst 24.8% intend to vote for Labour. This compares to the last General Election, where 29.6% of respondents voted Conservative, and only a fifth (20.8%) backed Labour.

The trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK