Europe

£5,000 heat pumps grant ‘a fraction of what is needed’

Boris Johnson discusses introduction of heat pumps to UK homes

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The Prime Minister promised to make the new technology cheaper than gas boilers by offering the subsidy from April. But the £450million fund will cover just 90,000 heat pump installations over three years while the Government’s own goal is 600,000 a year by 2028. And people will still need to make up the rest of the £10,000 total bill to help decarbonise their home.

Mike Childs, head of science at Friends of the Earth, said: “It doesn’t matter if you rent or are mortgaged, we all deserve a healthy, warm home that doesn’t break the bank.

“The Government has said all homes should be energy-efficient by 2035, and no new gas boilers should be fitted after that date.

“But this doesn’t match up with the financial support on offer so that people can make the switch, or upgrade their home insulation.” David Cowdrey, of MCS Charitable Found-
ation, which aims to protect the environment, said the Government must introduce a long-term grant scheme over the next decade.

He added: “Though the £5,000 grant is welcome, it is a fraction of what is needed to decarbonise homes in England and Wales and does not cover insulation or energy efficiency measures. The Treasury needs to find substantially more money to kickstart the Retrofit Revolution and help us make our homes truly fit for the future.

“If we fail to act and invest now, we risk the spectre of dangerous climate change which will cost the Treasury far more in the long-term.”

Mr Cowdrey wants the Government to introduce new zero per cent eco loans to help refurbish homes, plus positive tax incentives to further cut costs. He added that would ensure heat pumps are the same price as gas boilers for everyone instead of “a limited number of people”.

Mr Childs agreed, saying of Mr Johnson’s announcement: “These grants will only incentivise the best-off households.”

MP Philip Dunne, who chairs the environmental audit committee, said the heat and building strategy is an early signal the industry has been waiting for “as we move to stem the colossal emissions from our homes”.

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