Homeowners trying to install eco-friendly heat pumps have been left with surprise £30,000 bills after it emerged millions of radiators are too small to work with the new technology. The Government wants 600,000 heat pumps installed every year by 2028, in line with its “net zero” aims, but the majority of homes may need thousands of pounds worth of upgrades to accommodate them. Heat pumps need larger radiators to achieve the same heat output as gas boilers, which heat water to much higher temperatures. Some 99pc of British homes do not have radiators large enough to heat a room on the coldest winter’s day, using a low-temperature heat pump, the most common model, according to a Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy study. “High temperature” heat pumps can help fix this but 90pc of homes would still need better radiators. To heat a home on an average winter’s day, 94pc of British households would need to upgrade their radiators if using a standard heat pump.
Telegraph 15th May 2022 read more »
Greg Jackson, chief executive and founder of Octopus Energy, bounds through the door of the white house. Outside — and even in the hangar — it is a chilly day. But inside this demonstration home the thermometer on the wall reads 22.5C. “It’s toasty warm,” beams Jackson, 50, sporting grey stubble and wearing a white V-neck T-shirt, blue jeans and scuffed brown shoes. “It’s almost too hot.” These two homes represent environmentalists’ great hope for the decarbonisation of British domestic heating. They are both equipped with air-source heat pumps, devices that act like fridges in reverse, extracting warmth from the air and using it to heat radiators and water in the tank. This is a green, carbon-free way to heat the nation’s homes. As long as the electricity used to power the heat pumps is from a clean source, the only by-product is water. Heat pumps are environmentalists’ preferred choice to replace them. But they are not popular elsewhere. They are widely viewed as expensive, inefficient and suitable only for the most modern of houses. Only 30,000 are installed each year, compared with 1.7 million gas boilers. And this is where Jackson comes in — to show that heat pumps are affordable and effective. “We are bringing heat pumps to the mass market,” he says. So why do they have such a bad reputation? “As a nation we have gone about this arse about tit. We have had large leaky homes doing this so far. Each of them have been bespoke jobs — and that is expensive.” Jackson’s mission is to target properties where installing heat pumps can be done cheaply and quickly. “If you want to decarbonise Britain, then you have to go after the low-hanging fruit. And that is three or four-bed semis. If we can get heat pumps into homes built from the 1970s onwards — like these two houses we have built here — that represents 40 per cent of British homes. You do it well, you improve your processes. And as you improve the mass-market solutions, as you bring down the costs, you get better solutions for specialist needs as well. Then you can go after the more difficult homes.”
Times 14th May 2022 read more »