The move away from fossil fuels being used to heat homes will be hampered without significant improvements to electric heating options, a consumer organisation has warned. A report commissioned by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) on consumer attitudes to energy networks in Scotland has found that only half of households off the gas grid are satisfied with their heating systems, compared with 84 per cent of households who have a mains gas connection. The study also found that 85 per cent of households with mains gas central heating are fairly or extremely satisfied with their heating system, compared with just 42 per cent for those with electric storage heating, a “satisfaction gap” of 43 per cent. CAS fair markets spokesman Dr Jamie Stewart said: “The issue of the climate emergency has made it to the top of the political agenda and that’s a welcome step forward but policymakers need to be honest about the challenges this represents. “The electrification of heat is being proposed by many as a key step in the move away from using dirtier fossil fuels to keep our homes warm. And while the idea is sound, this research highlights the dissatisfaction many electric-only households currently have with their heating systems. That needs to change if we are to see more homes heated with electricity.” He added: “As conversations on decarbonising energy use begins in the corridors of government, politicians and civil servants must take into consideration consumer satisfaction when creating energy policy. “They must acknowledge that people will not switch from gas to electricity without reduced costs and substantial improvements to electric heating options.” People who have electric storage heaters said they were least satisfied with their heating, meanwhile, only 56 per cent of those with plug-in electric fires or heaters said they were happy. After gas heating, those with solid fuel-open grate, enclosed grate/stove or heat pump systems were most content, with 79 per cent of people with those heating systems saying they were satisfied. CAS has released the figures as both the UK and Scottish governments, as well as increasing numbers of big businesses, have committed to reducing emissions.
Scotsman 14th Oct 2019 read more »