The Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), which includes British Gas and the Federation of Builders, has slammed the government’s announcement in October of heating and Building strategy, which includes a promise to roll out heat pumps instead of gas boilers on a large scale in UK homes.
EUA chief executive Mike Foster has dismissed the heat pump scheme as a “middle-class moron” from a government out of touch with the public. He said the strategy was “now dead in the water”.
He said: “Continuing to have a policy requiring people in the midst of an energy crisis to adapt to the heat is frankly unjustifiable for pumps costing up to £10,000. Government needs urgent Develop a solid home heating strategy that provides a roadmap for heating our homes and achieving net zero.”
The government is currently subsidizing the first wave of 90,000 heat pumps – according to its boilers Upgrade Scheme – Taxpayer subsidy of £5,000 per unit, totalling cost of £450m.
Foster said the subsidy still leaves households trying to figure out where the gaps are. “Consumers can’t afford heat pumps; they can’t afford to retrofit their homes with energy efficiency measures; they can’t afford new radiators or install hot water cylinders. The bills are coming. They don’t have savings, but the government’s strategy is still to require them to install heat pumps that they can’t afford.”
He continued: “We also need to subsidize heat pump installations whether The best use of taxpayer cash. Subsidies would be more effective if targeted at energy efficiency measures in households, with Britons already in debt reportedly paying an average of £206 less in bills to profitable energy companies.”
He cites figures from the Energy Efficiency Trust showing that £450m could provide insulation for 849,000 attics, saving households £216.50 a year in bills while saving 509,400 tonnes carbon emission. 375,000 households would benefit if used to install cavity wall insulation, saving £106.90 a year in bills and reducing carbon emissions by 251,250 tonnes.
Foster concluded: “We are in a middle-stage cost of living crisis; bills skyrocket and consumers hurt. Is it time taxpayers buy heat pumps for the middle class” We Know that Whitehall officials fear it will fail. The total planned amount over three years is £450m to subsidise 90,000 heat pumps. The same amount means that nearly 1 million households can get free insulation, saving almost £220 million a year. Surely this is a bigger reward in these difficult times? “
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