Heat pumps, which draw in heat from the ground or air surrounding a property, and reuse it within the building for heating and hot water, are constantly cited as the ace in hole for decarbonisation. The problem is no one in the UK wants them until their tried and tested gas boiler needs replacing. A series of trials of heat pumps completed in 2010 and 2015 reported disappointing results, with many installations failing to deliver benchmark efficiencies. More recently, no less an authority than the BEIS warned that heat pumps could cost homeowners up to £35,000 each. It said too that they made too much noise and were likely to result in sharply higher fuel bills for homeowners. The BEIS also admitted that there were issues with “installation quality and consistency”. It added that many homes will not have enough space for all the machinery required for heat pumps, which includes an outdoor unit or a ground array system, additional piping, a hot water tank and a buffer tank. Yet despite this, Westminster and Holyrood expect us to squander our hard-earned cash on a system that the UK government,which has an annual target of 600,000 heat pump installations , admits isn’t yet fit for purpose. Moreover, according to a report this year by EY, there are just 1,200 qualified heat pump installers in the UK, compared to more than 130,000 gas boiler installers. Perhaps Harvie might consider picking up a spanner and training to qualify? It would be a better use of his time and taxpayers’ money.
Times 10th Oct 2021 read more »