The Carnwath Massive
Cost of Living
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Heat pumps are currently the frontrunner to replace gas boilers over the coming decades as the country moves towards net zero.
The Government wants 600,000 of the devices installed each year by 2028, while gas boilers will be phased out.
But the decision has proved controversial: around four in 10 households do not support the boiler ban, according to research by Boiler Guide, a network of both gas and heat pump engineers.
Some 80pc of homes think the Government needs to offer more financial help to ease the transition. As things stand, households must pay much higher upfront costs to install the devices.
And although the technology is evolving, and is likely to improve significantly and fall in cost over the coming years, heat pumps are currently slower at heating cold homes than traditional boilers.
Here are six reasons why a heat pump might not be the best option for your home.

1. The cost is prohibitive​

The main barrier to installing these devices for most homes is the disproportionately large upfront cost when compared to traditional heating systems.
A survey for the RSK Group, the services provider, found that on average the public believe heat pumps to cost around £3,290 to purchase and install.
In reality, the costs are much higher. While a replacement gas boiler can cost around £1,000 to £3,000, an air source heat pump can cost between £7,000 and £14,000 to purchase and install, and ground source heat pumps can cost between £15,000 and £35,000.
The Government plans to offer households grants of £5,000 to help them switch to heat pumps. The grants, part of the "Boiler Upgrade Scheme", will begin in England and Wales next April and will initially run for three years.
However, just £450m in funding has been earmarked for the scheme, meaning only 90,000 homes will benefit.
The Government expects the cost of these devices to come down in the coming years. In July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a Parliamentary committee: "Let's be frank, these things cost about 10 grand a pop. This is a lot of money for ordinary people. There are some big bets we may need to place... on hydrogen, but also on heat pumps".

2. They are slower at heating homes​

At present, heat pumps can be slower at heating a home than a conventional boiler. Traditional central heating systems heat water by burning gas, which can take radiators to around 75C. Hydrogen boilers will operate in a similar manner once they become widely available.
Heat pumps only heat water to a maximum of around 65C, meaning houses that use them take longer to warm up.

3. Better models will be available in the near future​

According to Boiler Guide, around 32,000 heat pumps were sold in Britain last year, far short of the Government's 600,000 target, and a tiny amount in comparison to the 1.6 million gas boilers installed over the same period.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng conceded that, while gas boilers had been "refined over many years … heat pumps are still in their infancy".
As the number of heat pumps installed every year will accelerate in the coming years, it is likely that the price of the devices will come down significantly.
As new models are developed, more efficient devices are also likely to become commercially available.
This means that households committing to a heat pump now may be at risk of jumping the gun, and may miss out on a cheaper and more efficient and effective device in several years' time.

4. They might not work in your home​

Almost all houses can accommodate an air source heat pump, but a ground source device requires more land.
Not all flats will be compatible with air source heat pumps however, as the devices usually need to sit on the ground outside to work. This can be an issue for those living in terraced houses, where outside space may be limited.
Small flats may also lack the indoor space required for the devices, as large hot water cylinders are required.
In some cases, they can be mounted on a wall, but need to be somewhere accessible so that settings can be adjusted.
Air source heat pumps also generate some noise when working, especially in cold weather.
David Holmes of Boiler Guide said: “The important point to take away is that for the right property, an air source heat pump can be an effective low-carbon heating system.
"However, with so many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ around the technology, there is no blanket solution to how we will heat homes in the future."

5. They don't cut bills by very much​

The potential savings gained by installing a heat pump depends on what type of system it is replacing.
Under normal circumstances, in a typical home a heat pump will be £400 to £465 cheaper to run each year than a G-rated gas boiler. However, A-rated gas boilers are still around £35 to £55 cheaper to run each year than a heat pump.
This is likely to change over the next decade. The Government plans to move green energy surcharges, which are currently applied to household electricity bills, on to gas bills.
Ministers are expected to phase in the changes over a period of up to 10 years, however, so for the foreseeable future gas will remain cheaper.
Air source heat pumps can become less efficient when the temperature outside is colder. According to Green Age, an energy saving advice service, the coefficient of performance of an air source heat pump in the winter can be less than two, down from a typical three.
This means the heat pump generates one unit of heat for every one unit of electricity required to power the device.
Gas boilers have a lower coefficient of performance than this, at 0.85, but as gas is far cheaper than electricity, costs are roughly similar.

6. They don't work well in poorly insulated homes​

When considering heat pumps, many households will have to also factor in the cost of properly insulating their home.
Homes need to be well insulated for heat pumps to be effective because the devices work at lower temperatures and so will struggle to get the house warm and keep it to temperature. They work better with lower temperature heating systems, such as underfloor heating.
Around 25 million homes in Britain do not have adequate insulation. Bringing a poorly-insulated home up to scratch can cost thousands of pounds, but does eventually pay for itself in reduced energy bills.
To insulate a loft in a three-bedroom semi-detached home it can cost around £300 to £350. To add cavity wall insulation, the same home could expect to pay between £450 and £500.
External insulation and render can cost between £8,500 to £15,000 for a three-bedroom semi, and for internal insulation and plaster a home can typically pay between £5,000 and £7,000.


Grey wisdom
Cost of Living
The water meter reader has just come to the gate to say he can't open the cover to read the meter. i went out with a shovel but we could not locate it under half a meter of snow which has fallen from the trees! So we made up a number and it will sort itself out next time. crap job in this weather. It came out to be 60TL, so I can still afford an Efes or two tonight with the footie.
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