Heat pumps: have a cosy home without warming the planet

An interesting story was published recently about a couple retiring to a bungalow in Norfolk, who replaced their traditional boiler, with a £10,000 air source heat pump.

As reported “The couple took advantage of the government’s renewable heat incentive scheme, which will be worth a total of £7,000 to the Davidsons in quarterly payments over seven years. On top of that, they say their total home energy bills have fallen by up to £1,000 a year. Given that a new gas boiler would have cost about £3,000, the Davidsons reckon they will eventually save thousands of pounds.”

There are two types:

  1. To retrofit an existing home with a ground pump requires extensive digging and will cost upwards of £20,000-£25,000, which makes them prohibitively expensive (and disruptive) for the majority of existing homes.
  2. The air pumps – mostly made by Japanese air conditioner manufacturers such as Daikin and Mitsubishi – cost about £4,000 to £6,000 for the unit (two to three times the cost of a gas boiler), and then several thousand pounds more to install. What’s more, you may need to replace your radiators, which will push up the price even more, and then probably pay for a new tank as well.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/nov/28/heat-pumps-have-a-cosy-home-without-warming-the-planet

The government recently set a target of 600,000 heat pump installations a year in the UK by 2028 as it launched its “green industrial revolution”. Key points included:

  • Homes and public buildings: Making our homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, whilst creating 50,000 jobs by 2030, and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
  • Electric vehicles: Backing our world-leading car manufacturing bases including in the West Midlands, North East and North Wales to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, and transforming our national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles.
  • Carbon capture: Becoming a world-leader in technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030, equivalent to all emissions of the industrial Humber today.