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Most Brits have NO interest in heat pumps, poll finds

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Off the boil: Most households don't want a heat pump under any circumstances, according to new research, but that doesn't mean they don't support the government's green initiatives.
  • Most Britons have no interest in heat pumps, exclusive survey finds
  • But around half say they want hydrogen energy to be introduced into UK homes.

The UK may be running out of interest in heat pumps, with only one in ten people wanting to install one instead of their gas boiler.

Instead, around half want to use greener hydrogen energy to replace some of their existing gas supply, according to a new survey.

Heat pumps use electricity to extract energy from the environment and come in air, water or ground heat varieties. The Government wants 600,000 a year to be installed from 2028, an eleven-fold increase from just 55,000 in 2023.

But only one in 10 households have a heat pump or plan to install one, according to the YouGov survey commissioned by trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance.

Off the boil: Most households don’t want a heat pump under any circumstances, according to new research, but that doesn’t mean they don’t support the government’s green initiatives.

There are currently a total of 200,000 heat pumps in the UK, meaning around 0.74 per cent of the country’s 27 million homes have one installed.

If the YouGov survey accurately reflects broader public sentiment, only 2.7 million homes will have a heat pump before demand declines, with most of the remaining 24.3 million relying on gas boilers for heating and hot water.

The Government is promoting heat pumps as part of its net zero campaign to help reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.

The YouGov survey found that 69 per cent of people think it is important to reach net zero by 2050, but that 45 per cent are not even considering switching from their gas boiler to a heat pump.

A remarkable 69 per cent of people believe it is important for the UK to reach its target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, but only ten per cent of respondents said they have a heat pump or want to have one. In fact, 45 percent of people said they had not even considered switching to a heat pump.

However, more than half (51 percent) of people said they would support mixing natural gas with hydrogen to reduce carbon emissions from home heating.

This would allow households to keep their gas boilers, with most not requiring modifications.

Government and industry studies have shown that households can continue to use gas appliances normally as long as the hydrogen level does not exceed 20 percent.

The Government was consulting on plans to start adding hydrogen to gas supplies from 2025, but has now delayed this until at least 2026.

Energy Efficiency Minister Martin Callanan said: “Heat pumps and heat networks will be the main way to reduce household emissions for the foreseeable future.”

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of people said they want their current boilers converted for use with a zero-carbon gas in the future, such as hydrogen.

The high cost of installing heat pumps was criticized earlier this year by the Government’s spending watchdog.

Currently, installing a heat pump costs four times more than a similar gas boiler.

The National Audit Office said the high cost of heat pumps and a lack of consumer understanding were preventing more households from choosing to install heat pumps.

The watchdog said that “a key issue behind the lower-than-expected uptake of heat pumps is their cost of use and installation” and that the Government has no “long-term plan to address low levels of awareness.” ” on the abandonment of heat pumps. electric heating.

The Government’s main tool to encourage households to choose heat pumps is its Boiler Improvement Scheme, which offers grants of up to £7,500 to install air and ground heat pumps.

EUA chief executive Mike Foster said: “Heat pumps have a role to play in decarbonising our homes, but the upfront and running costs make them a privilege for the wealthy.”

“What is very clear is support for maintaining boilers and decarbonising the gas used, with the mix of hydrogen on the grid backed by a margin of five to one, leaving no doubt about what the public wants.

“Achieving net zero will require people to make fundamental changes to the way they live their lives and we have to give them the choice to choose the best way to do this.”

The YouGov survey was conducted among 2,035 adults.

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