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Home radiators will have to be 10 degrees cooler for Britain to reach climate targets

April 5, 2021

By Paul Homewood


h/t ianprsy



Looks like the Telegraph has finally woken up!





Radiators would have to run 10 degrees cooler under changes to homes needed for Britain to hit net zero, the public has been warned.

The Government has said it wants 600,000 heat pumps replacing gas boilers every year by 2028 to help decarbonise the country’s home heating, which accounts for 10 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

But MPs and experts have warned that without a massive programme to address the UK’s draughty homes and scale up engineering skills, people could be left in the cold by the technology, which works by drawing in heat from the air or ground outside.

While gas boiler heating systems can pump 60C water into a home’s radiators, the Climate Change Committee, which advises the Government, assumes heat pumps will operate at 50C.

To keep homes warm, that may require bigger radiators, underfloor heating and improved insulation, with full modifications estimated to cost on average £18,000.

Homeowners will currently have to cover the costs themselves as the government scrapped its grants scheme after just six months.

Heat pumps can reach high temperatures, but become inefficient and expensive to run, though a regular hot cycle is necessary to kill legionella, which can lead to Legionnaires Disease.

Darren Jones MP, the chair of the Commons business and energy committee, said: “It’s not the same as gas. You can’t just knock up the dial on your wall a little bit and suddenly it gets a bit warmer”. 

The UK is nearly halfway to meeting its target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, but the transition has so far been achieved largely by phasing out coal-fired power plants and boosting the offshore wind industry.

The next phase will require individuals to make much more personal changes to the way they travel, heat their homes and what they consume. That carries risks if people are turned off by the transition.  

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) established a behaviour change unit last year to tackle how the Government will persuade people to make the necessary transition.

Home heating is considered one of the biggest hurdles, because of the level of investment and intrusion required to change it.

"It is a problem to persuade people that they can’t necessarily rely on a system which will transform the warmth of the room that they’re in, in a matter of minutes,” said Philip Dunne MP, chair of the environment committee.

“And that does require education. And it’s difficult to do with people who are not committed to the environmental cause. They’re just concerned that they’re cold."  


To keep homes warm, that may require bigger radiators, underfloor heating and improved insulation, with full modifications estimated to cost on average £18,000

Energy efficient homes  

It’s not just heat pumps that mean homeowners might need to make costly adjustments to their homes.

The Government wants the majority of homes to be EPC C by 2035, and 2030 in the private sector. That means retrofitting measures in the two-thirds of homes that are currently EPC D or below.

Measures might include double or triple glazing, solid or cavity wall insulation and underfloor heating.

Energy efficiency could be linked to lower mortgage rates, or higher loans to cover improvement measures. 

However, the Government has scrapped its flagship £1.5bn Green Homes Grant scheme, which gave homeowners up to £5,000, or £10,000 for low-income households, toward the cost of insulation and installing low-carbon heating, after just six months.

Heat pumps

The government wants heat pumps to replace gas boilers, but they are bigger, noisier and other changes to homes are needed to ensure they don’t leave inhabitants cold.

Experts say heat pumps warm homes to a comfortable level, provided the right system is installed, and can bring benefits by reducing the flow of indoor air pollution by maintaining a lower, constant level of heat.

"[A heat pump] is a low temperature heat system. It’s an advantage, but can be seen as a disadvantage,” said Nathan Gambling a consultant specialising in training heating engineers.

"Ideally all our heat systems in our home should be low temperature, for a number of reasons. Low temperature is a healthier form of heating."

But he warned that heating engineers lack the expertise to ensure people have the right system installed when they make the swap.

And information for those wishing to go green in their homes can be hard to come by.

“Right now if you want to switch to a low carbon heating, you’ve got to go on some kind of grand journey of discovery. You need to become a project manager or a building physicist,” said Mr Newey, who is director of strategy at innovation agency Energy Systems Catapult.

“It’s quite an invasive process in your home,” said Darren Jones MP, the chair of the Commons business and energy committee .

"And because the market is not fully mature yet the cost of installing is very high. You’re looking at 10 to 15k, plus invasive work in your home.

“Government, energy suppliers – they’re not really talking to customers about this, or explaining that something significant is gonna have to change.”

Heat pumps are also a bigger and noisier option than a gas boiler, which could prove an issue when they’re installed on a large scale.

“Architects historically haven’t given any sort of thought to the heating. We’re given a kitchen cupboard for your boiler. So that mindset is going to have to change,” said Mr Gambling, who runs a podcast, BetaTalk, looking at the transition to low carbon heating.

“We haven’t really got to that point in the uptake where we know whether that’s an intrusion on people’s comfort,” he added. “They’re not as noisy as some people think, but then again, noise is quite subjective.”

Hydrogen boilers 

A hydrogen boiler is potentially a much less intrusive option compared to heat pumps, costing around the same as a gas boiler. But hydrogen is not yet ready for use in homes, and it’s unclear when it will be and on what scale.

When it is, it’s likely to only be in certain areas, meaning investing in a hydrogen-ready boiler now could feel like a waste of money down the line. It is also going to require some retrofitting of pipes to make them safe to carry the hydrogen. 

Electric charging points  

Accommodating electric cars will mean homeowners need a charger and will face increased energy bills.

New petrol and diesel cars will be banned from sale from 2030, and the CCC wants 64 per cent of all cars on the road to be electric by 2032.

Installing a charger at home can cost up to £1,000 to install, with Government grants covering up to £350. This is expected to fall to around £680 by 2040.

Electricity bills will increase with daily charging (though still cheaper than fuel costs), making shopping around for the best tariff crucial. Many supply electricity at significantly cheaper off-peak prices which can be utilised if it has smart features.

Some can even be linked to the renewable energy supply in your home, such as solar panels, and can sell your excess electricity back to the grid.

But with many deals available online, there is a potential for those without digital access to be left behind, warns Dhara Vyas, the head of future energy services at Citizens Advice.

For those without off-street parking, trailing cables across pavements is technically illegal. Trials are under way in Oxford to dig trenches to stretch the cables from your home to the roadside. 

A BEIS spokesperson said: “The UK has a strong track record in improving the energy performance of its homes, with 40 per cent now rated EPC band C – up from just 9 per cent in 2008.

“We are committed to going further and faster, and are investing £9 billion in improving the energy efficiency of our buildings, while creating hundreds of thousands of skilled green jobs.

“This includes funding for the first hydrogen powered houses, nearly £700 million for low carbon heating like heat pumps through the Renewable Heat Incentive, and more than £500m this year alone to improve the energy efficiency of 50,000 homes of those on low incomes across the UK.”


I’m puzzled why this is written by young Emma, the Environment Editor. Surely the Economics or Energy Editors should have been warning us about all of this years ago. All of these problems have been known for a long while, as readers of this blog will know.

On a couple of occasions, Emma refers to the ending of the green grant scheme, as if this would solve all of the problems. Does she not know that governments don’t have money, and that somebody has to pay for the grants?

As for the MPs Darren Jones and Philip Dunne , they appear to think that homeowners will gladly spend £18000 and put up with inferior heating systems, which also cost more to run, if only government “educates” them about the environment. They will be in for a big shock.

  1. grammarschoolman permalink
    April 5, 2021 10:54 am

    That’ll lead to more deaths from flu and pneumonia, then. I wonder what the prevent-Covid-deaths-at-all-costs mob will have to say about that.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 5, 2021 12:52 pm

      Stay outside your cold home! Huddle together for shared warmth! Move in with your neighbours during cold weather to share heat and heating costs!

  2. Devoncamel permalink
    April 5, 2021 11:03 am

    I was mildly surprised by reading this in the Torygraph this morning. We can but hope that people realise getting cold is more harmful than being warm, especially when being asked to impoverish themselves.

    • April 5, 2021 11:57 am

      My estimate is that if the UK disappeared entirely tomorrow then the global temperature rise abated by 2100 would be a hundredth of a degree.

      So if we turn down our thermostats 10 degrees we’ll only be 9.99 degrees colder.

  3. Dr Ken Pollock permalink
    April 5, 2021 11:10 am

    Paul, given that there are some 20million homes (could easily be 27 million…) that would mean spending £360 billion on home “improvements”. Not sure anyone will be queuing up to spend that money for the sake of slowing the globe’s heating by…???
    We contribute 1% of the world total. Note China and India are showing no signs of wanting to follow our virtuous lead!
    Note also Emma makes no mention of banning the sale or renting of properties with an energy certificate of D or worse after 2028, as recommended by Chris Stark and the Climate Change Committee.

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 5, 2021 1:58 pm

      “We contribute 1% of the world total.”

      I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate. You contribute 0.04%.

  4. Douglas Brodie permalink
    April 5, 2021 11:23 am

    If this article had been published three days earlier it would have been laughed off as a joke. The trouble is the unhinged authoritarians in power appear to be serious.

  5. Beefeater NI permalink
    April 5, 2021 11:24 am

    Even my wife now realises that a 10 degree reduction in heat settings would mean that our central heating will NEVER be on. When will the vast majority be roused into rebelling against this enormous scam.

    • ianprsy permalink
      April 5, 2021 12:56 pm

      Sorry Beafeater, it’s the temperature of water in the radiators that has to come down, mainly because 50deg is the best ASHP installations can manage.

      • Vernon E permalink
        April 5, 2021 3:04 pm

        ian: glad you corrected that; I even read it wrong myself in the article, not sure that Emma understands it herself. Q=UAdeltaT. U is not a variable so if the delta T is reduced from say 40 deg C (60-20 typically) to 30 deg C (50-20) the size of the radiators will have to be increase in the same ratio.

  6. Graeme No.3 permalink
    April 5, 2021 11:25 am

    “the Climate Change Committee, which advises the Government, assumes heat pumps will operate at 50C”. Yes they can, but you won’t get much heat out of them as the air flow will have to be restricted.
    Often they are designed for a range of temperature, and the lower the temperature expected outdoors, the lower the temperature indoors. The american term Heat Pump says it, the lower the outside temperature, the lower the efficiency for delivering what most people would consider warm air inside.
    I suggest the ordinary citizen should stockpile government paperwork on this problem, so they can burn it later and get some useful heat out of it.

  7. richardw permalink
    April 5, 2021 11:40 am

    “And that does require education. And it’s difficult to do with people who are not committed to the environmental cause. They’re just concerned that they’re cold.”

    Says it all really. Commitment to the cause is an upper and middle class phenomenon. People who struggle to afford to heat their homes are not merely ‘concerned!’

    I guess the education we will see will follow the path piloted by Covid 19 policies – stoke up the fear to help people more accurately balance their judgements.

    And I always stupidly thought that democratic governments had a primary duty to protect the rights of the individual.

    • bobn permalink
      April 5, 2021 1:09 pm

      We no longer do education. Not in schools, academia or the media. We do INDOCTRINATION. We dont teach kids to think and find answers by examining raw data. We deliver Gospels that must be rote learnt. We are force fed. ie: ‘All people are equal’ except they are all different. ‘Everything should be Fair’ – which means whatever i say it means. ‘We are all somekind of racist’ – even those in inter-racial marriages. ‘Man controls the climate’, ‘CO2 is pollution’, The Bullpoo goes on and on.
      What we dont have is education!
      Carrie nut-nuts Simmons – degree in Art history at some polytech pretends to be ‘educated’.

      • richardw permalink
        April 5, 2021 1:47 pm

        Theatre studies, I believe, and polys are all unis now.

      • T Walker permalink
        April 5, 2021 5:26 pm

        richard – I think you will find she has done both subjects – that makes her totally suitable to re-educate a bloke who can recite Homer in Ancient Greek for hours.

        What can possibly go wrong.

  8. Robert Christopher permalink
    April 5, 2021 11:56 am

    I thought that 60°C was recommended because, apart from being more heat efficient, it stopped Legionnaires Disease etc from becoming a nuisance by growing in the warm water.

    But I expect it won’t be a problem now and, given the current secret agenda, it might even be a benefit!

    • Martin permalink
      April 5, 2021 2:31 pm

      The reality is that hot water will have to provided by instant electric hot water heaters (no storage tank) or a tank with Immersion heater to top up the temperature. In other words more installation and running costs.

    • Beagle permalink
      April 5, 2021 2:36 pm

      Yes Robert that is the temperature recommendation for the HW system. My son has a ground source heat pump and there is also an electric heater that ‘occasionally’ gives that extra boost to the hot water.

      • T Walker permalink
        April 5, 2021 5:52 pm

        Well – Ground or pond source heat pumps are more effcient than air source pumps, which will probably make up the bulk of any of those fitted (cheaper – though eye-watering compared to a gas boiler).

        Ground or water sourced heat pumps will be working from a near constant input temperature. Obviously the air-source ones will have to put up with whatever the outside air temp is and they decrease in efficiency by about 5% for ever 1 deg c drop in outside temp. Many heat pumps struggle to better 35c. As Martin says above the Hot Water will have to be delivered by electric heating directly.

        THe “advertising” often says that heat pumps provide 4 times the amount of energy input (electricity) in heat – many struggle to beat 3 times. If you ask the salesman, and I have, how that works out when gas is a third the price (or less) than electricity – you don’t get many convincing answers.

        And now of course the Germans who have been driving the mad rush to heat homes with electricity we don’t have – have now started to view gas as “Green”. I think someone has maybe seen the light? It would take another 15 years for that to happen here!!

        Ground or water source heat pumps used in a modern house with high levels of insulation, air-tightness with heat recovery ventilation are a viable energy stratergy.

        Just like electric cars are the bad answer to a problem we don’t really have – the same will be true of air-source heat pumps. IMHO.

  9. cookers52 permalink
    April 5, 2021 11:59 am

    This is going the same way as the previous proposed green heating fiasco CHP etc. Wont even mention smart meters.

    Air source heat pumps for heating are not the answer, they are inherently noisy and when people realise they can be used for cooling as well all energy saving evaporates.

    Gas is a primary fuel piped to the point of use, the Network is established and capacity is adequate, what the f is the government up to.

  10. Stuart Brown permalink
    April 5, 2021 12:02 pm

    “Low temperature is a healthier form of heating.”

    ‘Course it is, obvious innit? Colder is warmer. Like today – I was going out to bring some of that toasty white stuff in to keep me warm! But it seems to have gone again…

    After a power cut my boiler had a moment and reset itself into some sort of Eco mode. I was convinced it had failed until I worked out the output temperature was set to 50C. Setting it back to 60C made me feel a whole lot healthier!

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      April 5, 2021 1:18 pm

      Colder is warmer, snow is caused by Goreball warming even if our children will not know what it is……

    • Philip Mulholland permalink
      April 5, 2021 1:44 pm

      My electric immersion heater failed, too much limescale. The electrician fitted a new one for me and is required by law to set it to 50C. He showed me how he did this by turning a small screw driver operated dial. The next thing that will happen is that dial will be removed by law.

      • I don't believe it! permalink
        April 5, 2021 8:01 pm

        Strange, Legionaires is a concern below 60c, so why set at 50c?

  11. tomo permalink
    April 5, 2021 12:07 pm

    I wonder if Gummer, Stark et al will volunteer their home heating arrangements… ?

    • Lorde Late permalink
      April 5, 2021 12:13 pm

      Ah no, Gummers house is listed so must be kept warm to avoid it falling down and becoming a loss to britains heritage.

  12. April 5, 2021 12:24 pm

    Gas boilers pump out water at between 70 to 80 degrees. A high output air to water heat pump can manage at best about 65 degrees, but the more basic ones only produce about 50 to 55 degrees.

    There are specialised low temperature radiators which often have electric motors to aid convective heating, Of course these are very expensive.

    The alternative is to increase the size of the standard radiators. Radiators with input water temp of about 50 degrees, produce far too little heat, such that you have to oversize the radiator capacity in each room by between 30 to 50%. This is what I had to do in my house. This of course will then provide sufficient heat output to keep warm, but there is no such thing as a free lunch as you then need a larger air to water heat pump. Thus if you already had say 7,000 watts of radiators and you increased these to 10,000 watts of radiator capacity, you would then need a 10kW heat pump instead of a 7 kW heat pump. So that is more costs and more running expenditure.

    In reality air to water heat pumps are only any good for underfloor heating, which works well at about 40 degrees. Pushing water temperature to 50 deg C and above is extremely expensive, especially in cold weather.

    • MikeHig permalink
      April 5, 2021 4:29 pm

      As well as bigger radiators, will the capacity of the pipework and circulating pump have to be increased as well?
      If that’s the case, it will certainly be very intrusive and extremely expensive

      • sonofametman permalink
        April 6, 2021 10:58 am

        That depends. If you have 15mm copper pipe to your radiators, you might be OK, especially if you have a manifold based system. There are equations that describe the heat transfer possible depending on pipe size, but I haven’t got my head round them yet.
        I have the misfortune of having an old system with 8mm ‘microbore’ copper pipe. I junked the 30 year-old floor-standing 16 kW boiler and replaced it with a modern 28 kW job. The house is now not really any warmer (especially on cold windy days), and my guess is that it’s essentially being throttled by the pipework. It’s easy to make 8mm stuff even narrower by kinking it.
        I plan to replace the entire system soon, and will make the circulating system as ‘fat’ as I can, and will put in properly sized aluminium radiators. With that in place, I’ll be as far ahead as I can if the evil day comes and we are forced to remove our gas boilers.
        Underfloor heating isn’t option, as it’s a victorian terraced house. Yes I know, it can be done, but the cost would be prohibitive.
        There’s that word ‘cost’ again. Funny how our government doesn’t seem to care about it at all.

  13. April 5, 2021 12:27 pm

    They really hate old people don’t they.

  14. Jackington permalink
    April 5, 2021 12:30 pm

    Has the CCC done an estimate of how many lives will be forfeited as a result of this completely unnecessary but legal requirement? Of course many people have said climate change will be much worse than covid-19. Is a vaccine available yet for hypothermia?

  15. Mad Mike permalink
    April 5, 2021 12:50 pm

    In the full article it says

    “To keep homes warm, that may require bigger radiators, underfloor heating and improved insulation, with full modifications estimated to cost on average £18,000.”

    I asked a large cladding company for a ball park figure on insulating houses. Here’s part of the reply. TBH I don’t know if he was estimating for just cladding of including heat pumps etc. but either way its well above the Government’s estimation which, without much scrutiny, appears not credible.

    “The other issue is that most heat is lost through air changes not just through insulation, reduction in air changes often leads to internal condensation, mould and damp patches.
    If you remember when loft insulation was all the rage – with cold roof voids the gang nail plates on trussed rafters started to rust and fail.

    In short everything has a consequence, often unintended, as for a finger in the air number I would guess 20 – 30 k.”

  16. Gerry, England permalink
    April 5, 2021 1:00 pm

    The Times courtesy of the GWPF has a piece on unsaleable homes. So if mortgage lenders are going to refuse mortgages for properties that don’t meet the required energy standard what do you do if you can’t get a new mortgage? If you can’t pay back the lender of the expiring mortgage you will be in default and eventually the lender ends up owning the now unsaleable property. That will be a big write down on assets that the lenders don’t appear to have thought through. If they want to shift the properties they will have to carry out the work necessary to improve their rating. How much will that cost? For all their virtue-signalling woke nonsense eventually they will have to see sense or face a financial / housing crisis.

    • Farmerphil permalink
      April 6, 2021 6:08 am

      I agree with your analysis , it makes perfect sense which makes me wonder why the powers that be haven’t done their homework.

  17. Bob Schweizer permalink
    April 5, 2021 1:11 pm

    Where are all the brilliant people that are supposed to be running Boris Johnson’s government after the last election, and when were they replaced by the idiots that seem to be dictating policy now?

    • April 5, 2021 2:07 pm

      Policy is dictated by Civil Servants, academics and NGOs, politicians just sign on the dotted line, and vote for the policies in Parliament.

      • Rowland P permalink
        April 5, 2021 10:49 pm

        Yes Minister/Prime Minister!!

  18. Philip Mulholland permalink
    April 5, 2021 1:36 pm

    All of this is just a money making scam.

  19. Alan Keith permalink
    April 5, 2021 1:48 pm

    Why would anyone voluntarily replace their heating system with an inferior one that costs more to run? How does government think they will enforce this? By jailing people who won’t cooperate? Are they looking for civil war?

    • April 5, 2021 3:19 pm

      In the end it may need a bit of “persuasion” from the government. We will find an announcement the the gas in our area is to be switched off by a certain date. The the people will realise what is happening and there might be a bit of resistance.

    • DAVID ASHTON permalink
      April 5, 2021 4:47 pm

      Alan, I think it will be done by advance notification that the natural gas supply to your district will be cut off on a certain date.

      • Alan Keith permalink
        April 6, 2021 12:02 am

        And what do you think would happen as that date approaches with thousands of householders not having made any effort to change their heating system?

    • T Walker permalink
      April 5, 2021 6:24 pm

      Covid restrictions are a dry run Alan. Bozo Johnson must be thoroughly heartened by how easily we have let him ruin our country and agree to relinquish our freedoms.

      The only way forward will need a new political party that fights the CO2 mania – remove that and the rest falls. It is probably too deep seated now though and too many have vested interests.

      I am sure we have said it before, but it is amazing how much the Covid narrative ( diniers even mentioned ) has followed the climate change one. It is hard to convince scientists in both fields of obvious facts when their continuing sinecure and retirement stash depend on NOT recognising those facts.

      • DAVID ASHTON permalink
        April 5, 2021 10:00 pm

        The New Green Deal will be agreed by all the developed countries and written into an International Treaty which will then circumvent democracy. Any future party which gained power and promised to overturn the restrictions would find it came under severe sanctions if it did so.

      • Rowland P permalink
        April 5, 2021 10:51 pm

        Try the Heritage Party!

  20. Gamecock permalink
    April 5, 2021 1:56 pm

    ‘Homeowners will currently have to cover the costs themselves as the government scrapped its grants scheme after just six months.’

    Whereas, if government continued, they wouldn’t. As if ‘government’ money doesn’t come from the homeowners.

    ‘Heat pumps can reach high temperatures, but become inefficient and expensive to run, though a regular hot cycle is necessary to kill legionella, which can lead to Legionnaires Disease.’

    I’m not familiar with British heating systems; I am familiar with legionella. It requires highly oxygenated water. Question: Is the water in Brit gas boiler systems/heat pump systems highly oxygenated? Has Legionnaires been a problem for you?

    ‘The UK is nearly halfway to meeting its target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050’

    Cirrusly? You have done NOTHING!

  21. Crowcatcher permalink
    April 5, 2021 2:05 pm

    Reminds me a little of the 1950s when all the tower blocks were being built with cheap, underfloor electric heating because electricity was, and was always going to be “dirt cheap”, politicians and planning authorities completely ignoring the fact that for ever £100 spent on the heating the CEGB had to spend £10,000 on new generating capacity – look how well that turned out!!!!

  22. Cheshire Red permalink
    April 5, 2021 2:46 pm

    The entire Net Zero policy is too stupid for words, yet it’s law and supported by all major parties. £18,000 just for a new heating system that barely works! Truly insane.

    We need an organised pushback against this lunacy.

    Parliament and media won’t do it as they’re all bought, paid for and sold on the glory of zero carbon.

    It’ll need the equivalent of Toby Youngs Free Speech union. Unless someone starts an organised campaign we’ll just be stuck posting complaints on blogs. (No offence Paul!)

    The time to complain has passed, we need big, loud collective action.

  23. Beagle permalink
    April 5, 2021 2:47 pm

    Do any of these people that write these stories actually know how heat pumps work? They seem to think you take air or water from from outside and (to quote Mr Harrabin)the heat is concentrated to warm the house. The heat is generated by the compressor (which they like o call a pump) by compressing the refrigerant gas which generates heat. This heat is used to heat the water or air when it condenses the gaseous refrigerant. It then goes to the next stage where the liquid refrigerant is controlled through a pressure reduction valve which absorbs heat to make the phase change,( this could then be used for the AC operation).

  24. Vernon E permalink
    April 5, 2021 3:19 pm

    All the above are valid and relevant, especially Cheshire Red. Somebody, somehow, has to speak up. We don’t even have our democratic rights anymore because there is no alternative government to vote for. But, has anything been said that the gas system will be closed down? I can practically heat my whole house (slightly below C EPC) from my gas fire. I could survive. But if they threaten us with cutting off the gas grid how does that jive with eventually having a hydrogen based gas grid, also mentioned by Emma? Are they going to rip out one grid and replace it with another. Total and utter confusion and fantasy.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      April 5, 2021 11:35 pm

      Vernon E.
      The answer is yes. Hydrogen is very light so has a low energy density, despite its high heat energy.
      The heat content delivered depends on the weight delivered. per Kg hydrogen has 2.4-2.6 times the heat content of methane (natural gas) but the same volume of methane has about 6.1 times higher weight. Which means a higher volume with hydrogen (about 2.5 times) has to be delivered for the same amount of heat.
      Using the same pipes means that the pressure would have to be increased for hydrogen, increasing the risk of leaks. I’ve seen a claim that it would take 4.6 ties the energy to pump enough hydrogen through any existing pipes.
      The older cast iron pipes would definitely have to be replaced.

  25. Mad Mike permalink
    April 5, 2021 3:44 pm

    Does anybody know if you can pipe hydrogen through the existing gas piping system? The Hydrogen molecule is very small compared to gas.

    • Dr Ken Pollock permalink
      April 5, 2021 3:57 pm

      Hydrogen used to make up a large percentage of town gas. We are familiar with its behaviour. Broadly speaking, pure hydrogen will be contained in the yellow plastic pipes used for natural gas but not in the cast iron pipes that still make up about 30% of our gas network. The latter will need replacing before a fully national grid suitable for hydrogen can be used. I am happy to be corrected by those knowing more accurate figures, but that is roughly correct…

    • April 5, 2021 6:04 pm

      I believe that it is the average SPEED of the hydrogen molecule that causes a much higher leakage rate, the higher speed follows from the lower mass.

  26. Adam Gallon permalink
    April 5, 2021 4:18 pm

    “64 per cent of all cars on the road to be electric by 2032.”
    Nearly 32 million cars registered in the UK.
    So, 20.5 million cars.
    Currently we’ve c455,000 EVs of one sort or another, registered.
    So, somebody reckons that another 20 million will be sold in the next 11 years?
    So, with around 2 million cars a year registered in the UK, virtually every single one must be an EV, over the next 11 years.

    • T Walker permalink
      April 5, 2021 5:59 pm

      It worse than that Adam – Most “electric” vehicles are Hybrids. You know a 1600cc petgrol engine carrying a ton of batteries around. Even our government has worked out that doesn’t really work so the hybrids are being banned as well.

      • Gamecock permalink
        April 5, 2021 10:13 pm

        Hybrids work. Fuel efficiency is quite good. Over 50 mpg.

    • Sean permalink
      April 5, 2021 6:29 pm

      And I have to wonder how long it would take, with ‘smart charging systems’ installed in homes and on streets where these EVs are parked, for the capability of using an EV battery as a power source to be exploited, resulting in, the morning after a hot, windless night, thousands of EV owners go out to their car to find that the utility company has drained their batteries to make up for a shortfall in energy production, and they’ve no way to get to work.

      • April 6, 2021 8:09 am


        that is unlikely as the night is when demand is low, well at the moment, with millions of evs who knows?
        Storage is required when demand is high, not low.

        However there is the added problem which has grown in the last few years of uncontrolled input into the grid via the distribution network which causes stability problems for the grid.

        The seemingly easy task of de carbonising the electrical grid is proving to be much harder than the government envisaged, simply because the chose to push part time power and all it’s technical deficiencies.
        It is now being compounded by significantly increasing grid demand which in turn will cost a lot of money we don’t have and increase CO2 emissions.

  27. April 5, 2021 4:48 pm

    Let’s not forget that the whole crock is based on the false theory that CO2 is a pollutant and greenhouse gas. At present concentrations, it is neither, for any practical purpose. Thus the whole crock is a complete crock-up.

  28. Candyjet permalink
    April 5, 2021 4:51 pm

    My definition of anything ‘eco’ is, “well-meaning, but fundamentally flawed”.

    We will all have to have eco-radiators fitted.

  29. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 5, 2021 5:53 pm

    Please campaign to have the Climate Change Committee up on a podium to tell us about the CRISIS in the same manner as we are told about the COVID crisis. First question (in front of the nation’s cameras) ‘ What percentage of global CO2 does the U.K. emit?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 5, 2021 7:32 pm

      That has to be the basis of a great letter to the DT. Go for it! – and let us know how it went. I really believe, like you, that the CCC is too powerful and, like the CMO and SAGE needs to be made to stand up in front of their work and face questions.

  30. April 5, 2021 6:07 pm

    I have never heard such rubbish, Air source heat pumps don’t work very well when the air going over the coil is close to zero. The colder it gets outside the less efficient the ASHP is.
    The only system that will be able to deal with low temperatures in ground source.
    What about the Electricity they use being 4 x more expensive than gas. No matter how clever the system is 50c will not provide hot water so cold showers from now on. You will need addition energy in the form of an electric boiler to boost the flow temp from the ASHP and GSHP.
    The bit about 60c is the boiler flow temp is incorrect, more like 80c to heat your homes. Yes underfloor is more efficient but it requires miles of pipework and a 2″ screed everywhere.

    The cost will be more than 19K if you have a old house more like 40K.

    What happens when the wind stops blowing, do we all go down the local leisure center and hug each other.

    I will not be installing any Heat Pumps in my house just because we are try to get to zero co2, which as we all know is impossible.

    Even cave men used burnt wood to stay warm.

  31. David permalink
    April 5, 2021 6:56 pm

    Surely hybrid cars are good for some driving .A ton of batteries is unnecessary if the electric drive is just used for city congested areas to save pollution and reverting to self charge and petrol drive when in open country.

    • Beagle permalink
      April 6, 2021 8:39 am

      Yes David, I thought I would try a hybrid car. I know they got some bad publicity when people got them as company cars because of the financial benefits. When they were traded it was found very few had ever charged them but just ran on the petrol engine. I haven’t done many miles since I got mine (2000 miles) but the efficiency is in the region of 500 mpg. As we are staying local the range of 39 miles per charge has meant most journeys are on electric only. The petrol used has been mainly for the heater. For someone like me, retired, I find it is perfect but if I had a lot of driving to do I probably wouldn’t have got one. The stated mpg is 58 which is better than my last car. The battery weighs about 180kg. They have offset this with other measures like a lighter 12v battery, some aluminium panels and good aerodynamics. The efficiency depends upon how you manage it.

      • Dr Ken Pollock permalink
        April 6, 2021 10:53 am

        Dear Beagle, please note that all those weight saving and fuel saving schemes in your hybrid could be duplicated in a conventional car, so they really need to be discounted. If fuel becomes more expensive, manufacturers will adopt all those ideas to make their products more economical. Do you remember when Audi put the Cd value of 0.26 (?) on the side windows of their cars to draw attention to the aerodynamic efficiency? Now such efficient designs are commonplace.

  32. Mavis Emberson permalink
    April 5, 2021 9:27 pm

    In New Zealand Heat Pumps are imported from China
    New built houses mostly have to have heat pumps

  33. Lorde Late permalink
    April 6, 2021 10:19 am

    Great comments all as usual!
    I enquired with my electicity supplier a couple of years ago regarding ‘upgrading’ my supply for an EV, £12500 they said without any of the charger intallation. That was the end of that.

  34. Vernon E permalink
    April 6, 2021 12:08 pm

    Back to the subject of gas. The point has already been stressed that towns gas was mostly hydrogen, and since its density is low the pressure drops in the grid will not be significantly higher if the volumes have to be greater. But the practicality is mind-bogglingly impossible. I have until even last week watched a gang of about six men from the grid operator (Scottish and Southern) taking about four months with massive traffic disruption to change one block, about a mile in total, from metal to yellow plastic. The old pipes looked more like welded steel than cast iron and there was nothing wrong with them (except they were thicker wall than expected). So, how many men and how long does it take to replace tens of thousands of miles? And why?

    • MikeHig permalink
      April 6, 2021 12:50 pm

      The density of town gas was close to natural gas: approx 0.6 kg/m3 vs 0.7kg/m3.
      Hydrogen is less than 0.1 kg/m3 so a whole different ball game, even after allowing for its higher calorific value per kg, as explained earlier by Graeme No3.

      • ianprsy permalink
        April 8, 2021 12:09 am

        And don’t forget that towns gas was wet, so self-sealing. No end of leaks after conversion and the pipework dried out.

  35. Beagle permalink
    April 7, 2021 6:12 am

    Dr Ken, you are right except for the 12v battery which is not required to start the car but only provides power for door opening and start button etc.. Anyway I am pleased with the vehicle and it is doing what I expected.

    • Beagle permalink
      April 7, 2021 8:14 am

      And just to add(I’ve just checked) it is a 100kg lighter than my last car.

  36. Stuart Brown permalink
    April 7, 2021 12:59 pm

    EnergyLiveNews never fails to entertain.

    “Carl Vaughan, Business Customer Delivery Manager at P H Jones, Centrica’s specialist social housing division, said: “This project has huge potential to reduce energy bills for residents, while improving local air quality and making a significant contribution towards our national net zero targets.”

    He may be in for a shock come the first lot of quarterly bills. Unless all the tenants are currently using electric storage radiators, I suppose – in which case I can’t see the air quality changing much!

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