Boris Johnson discusses introduction of heat pumps to UK homes
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Due to the worsening energy crisis and in an attempt to try to hit net-zero targets, ministers are scrambling to come up with solutions to energy supplies. One option being proposed is for 600,000 households to install heat pumps every year until 2028. However, despite assurances that the cost would be offset by a long-term reduction in energy bills, the price of the pump installation is proving a deterrent for many.
By comparison, the average gas boiler costs £1,500 to install, while heat pump installation can cost between £5,000 and £15,000.
In a poll that ran from 9am on Tuesday, May 31, to 10am on Wednesday, June 8 Express.co.uk asked: “Will you ‘spend to save’ by replacing the gas boiler with heat pump?”
A total of 7,826 people responded with the vast majority – 98 percent (7,638 people) answering “no”, they wouldn’t fork out on the installation despite the promise of long-term saving.
A further two percent (141 people) said “yes”, and just 47 people said that they did not know.
Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article with readers sharing their thoughts on the energy switch.
Readers expressed their distrust over whether they work despite the hefty cost, as well as frustration over the initial outgoing.
One reader, username Rhod said: “Not a chance! 20 grand to install to sit freezing in winter with the thing running 24/7. No way!”
Another reader, username jacksdad said: “At nearly 30p per unit, in winter it will be costing around £1.50 per hour when working hard to extract the ‘heat’ from colder air.
“They are a non-starter for many many homes, and as you point out they are not instant heating like gas or oil.”
One reader, with the username Grumpy, said: “They produce less heat than a gas boiler, need to run for longer, probably 24/7, & you will need bigger Radiators to achieve the same room temperature. Assuming your property is suitable for a heat pump. Mine isn’t!”
And username Bellina added: “No way, don’t have that sort of money, my little house would not be able to accommodate massive pump and radiators, I could not cope with the upheaval to my home.”
Another reader, with the username Littlemick, said: “Why would I replace a two-year-old boiler in perfect working order?”
And username Paula_Boo agreed: “We have a new gas boiler and we will not waste all that money on a system that does not suit our climate and will not heat our homes.”
Others, however, like username jon19641, advised an even more drastic lifestyle change, saying: “Best solution is get off the grid.”
The Express.co.uk poll is in keeping with wider research on the topic.
Energy company Utilita conducted a “Household Energy Behaviour Index” earlier this year, investigating the nation’s attitudes towards home energy.
The survey of 5,000 UK households warned of a “major disconnect” between the Government’s net-zero strategy and the general public.
The research found that 84 percent of households feel the Government has not provided clear enough guidance on how to increase energy efficiency and save money on utility bills.
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The report also found that the average household is willing to invest just £148 in energy efficiency measures – a notable jump from the vast sum required to install a heat pump.
Utilita CEO Bill Bullen said: “The Government’s current ‘spend to save’ approach to energy efficiency is not going to work.
“Our report findings reveal that the £148 average investment in energy efficiency measures will not support the Government’s ambition to encourage the installation of 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028.
“Despite its many iterations, the Government’s net-zero strategy is currently upside down and is only speaking to the ‘energy elite’, and even then, this group is confused about which technology they can trust to help them save costs and have no idea where to start.
“Our findings confirm this short-sighted ‘spend to save’ approach to energy efficiency is harming progress by leaving millions of households who can’t afford these technologies feeling disengaged and not part of the nation’s net-zero journey.”
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