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Why heat pumps sum up all that is wrong with 'net zero'

The Telegraph reports how strict planning could force households to buy heat pumps even if they do not want them

They were intended to be the silver bullet that meant British households would meet the Government’s ambitious “net zero” plan to offset carbon emissions.

But flaws with air and ground-source “heat pumps”, and the Government’s eco strategy, have become more apparent with each passing day. Now the aim of installing 600,000 pumps a year by 2028 is rapidly unravelling.

Demand for the green technology is stagnating; there is a shortage of engineers trained to install and maintain the pumps; and households who have already opted in are facing higher bills than if they had stuck with gas boilers.

Heat pumps come in two forms: air source and ground source. The process is not dependent on it being warm outside. Air-source pumps function even if temperatures are below 0C and use far less electricity than they take to run, making heat pumps more energy efficient than traditional alternatives.

The heat from the pump flows directly into household radiators or underfloor heating. However, therein lies the biggest problem – heat pumps are simply not suited to many homes.

The CCC urged the Government to remove the green levy from electricity bills if it wanted to make heat pumps more affordable to run.

For rural homeowners, the Government’s push for heat pumps has been especially frustrating.

Howard Illingworth, of trade association Liquid Gas UK, said the “one size fits all” approach to phasing out gas boilers does not take into account the complexity of heating rural properties, which are typically older and less energy efficient, making them harder to heat and expensive to retrofit.

“Rural consumers do want to go green. But many cannot afford the cost of installing a heat pump,” Mr Illingworth said.

“Our analysis shows it can cost up to £32,000 to install a heat pump in a rural home, and make the required infrastructure changes.”

Instead, he argued, rural households should be provided with “realistic solutions and a choice of options”, such as liquid petroleum gas, “the lowest carbon conventional fuel”.

Full article:

The Telegraph - Why heat pumps sum up all that is wrong with 'net zero
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