The transition to heat pumps – a DESNZ move?

By John Dyne, Managing Director

The National Audit Office has recently issued a report into the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero.

Reducing emissions from heating homes is a key component of the government’s overall target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Laudable I’m sure, however, the report’s conclusions do not make happy reading:

  • ‘Aspects of DESNZ’s overall pathway remain unclear’
  • ‘DESNZ also needs to get to grips with other longer-term challenges, such as the future of the gas networks and plans for reaching harder-to-decarbonise homes’
  • ‘DESNZ’s progress with encouraging households to install heat pumps has been slower than planned because costs remain high and public awareness remains low’
  • ‘The Climate Change Committee has estimated that £162 billion of additional investment will be required to install low-carbon heating in existing UK homes between 2020 and 2050’
  • ‘The report focuses on the deployment of low-carbon heating and does not consider energy efficiency. The report also does not evaluate the value for money of specific schemes or programmes aimed at decarbonising home heating, such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.’

For me, the jury is out on whether transitioning from boilers to heat pumps is going to be worth it. In a new build, undoubtedly it will be, but upgrading an existing home requires more thought…

The process is not straightforward (it may require an upgrade to the existing plumbing system) and is likely to leave many households out of pocket.

Personally, I’ll invest in insulation before transitioning to heat pumps because the easiest and most practical first step (and what should be the priority) is to keep in the warmth and reduce consumption/ cost/ CO2 that way.

Whilst the views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not constitute legal advice if you need advice on waste, pollution and permitting, don’t hesitate to contact John Dyne.