‘I’m sticking with gas!’ Homeowners reject heat pumps as PM’s plan backfires

What is the £5000 boiler heat pump payment?

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In a bid to fulfil the UK’s climate ambitions, and to help households with rising energy costs, the Government has rolled out the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), which provides grants to encourage property owners to install low carbon heating systems in their homes. Through the BUS, Britons can get £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump, £5,000 for an air source heat pump, and £5,000 for a biomass boiler.

However, this plan has not gone as well as the Government would like, with many households replacing their broken down boilers with new ones that continue to run on gas.

According to new research by law firm Shakespeare Martineau, almost two in five Britons plan to simply replace their broken gas boilers.

Meanwhile, only 12 percent of those surveyed said that they would opt to buy an air or ground source heat pump

The astronomical installation costs are a major reason why households are putting off buying low carbon heat pumps, with many families believing that the technology could get cheaper before gas boilers are completely banned in the UK.

Earlier this week, Sir John Armitt, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission noted that gas boilers must be scrapped to help households tackle the cost of living crisis and go green.

Jim Woodley, from south London, noted that he just replaced his boiler in January with another, fearing it was “too early” to switch to heat pumps, according to the Telegraph.

He said: “Gas boilers still have a lot of life in them. I have a feeling that heat pumps will go the way of Betamax video and something else will come in and replace them.”

Meanwhile, James Bore, a 38-year old cybersecurity consultant from west London, said that his home – like many others – was unsuitable for a heat pump.

He said: “We’re in a 1930s bungalow which we’re fixing up.

“Switching to a heat pump would mean pretty much stripping out all the existing central heating and pipework which is way beyond our budget.

“Even if heat pumps are made mandatory we’re in a house that is completely unsuitable for them.

“While we’re slowly working on insulating the house there is zero support available.”

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Despite the BUS offering up to £6,000 to replace boilers with heat pumps, many households have expressed their frustration at the prohibitive costs of installing a new heating system.

A woman in County Down expressed her “overwhelming” disappointment after she was told to pay £16,000 to install a new heat pump.

Speaking to the BBC, she said: “We were told that, where we are, that we would need to spend a lot of money on increasing the capacity of the transformer and putting in extra wiring, and it was going to come in at something like £16,000 to put in that additional improvement to the network so that we could put a low carbon energy source in.”

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