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Major challenges in persuading homeowners to install heat pumps, government admits

June 1, 2021

By Paul Homewood



BEIS tells industry that energy saving devices can cost up to £35,000 each and could increase fuel bills

Heat pumps could cost homeowners up to £35,000 each, can emit noise which breaches legal limits and could increase fuel bills, the government has admitted.

The green heating systems, which work by absorbing heat from the environment, are a core part of the government’s plans to make homes more energy efficient to help it achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Heat pump installer shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Ground Source Heat Pump Association chair Laura Bishop said the government had provided no promises on how it would incentivise homeowners to install heat pumps

But the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has said it faces a number of challenges in persuading homeowners to install the devices and conceded that it was “uncertain” what the “optimal solution” was.

At an online event for the industry on the issue last month, BEIS outlined the obstacles which it faces in achieving its target of installing 600,000 heat pumps each year by 2028 in the 24.5 million homes that need them.

It said that installation takes an average of 2.5 days but could take “several weeks” because of the need of some customers for a new electricity connection or fuse upgrade from the distribution network operator, while radiators and pipework might also need to be replaced.

It said that air source heat pumps, which generate heat from the air, can create noise that could breach permitted development regulations if too close to a neighbour’s window, which it admitted could be difficult to avoid in many buildings.

And it said that many homes will not have enough space for the kit, which includes either an outdoor unit or ground array, added piping, a control unit, a hot water tank and a buffer tank.

Aesthetics are another issue, with one in 16 ‘green early adopters’ being dissatisfied with how the heat pumps looked once installed.

BEIS said that cost is also a barrier to widespread adoption. Air source heat pumps are priced between £7,000 and £14,000 while ground source heat pumps, which get heat from holes drilled into the ground, cost from £15,000 to £35,000, with installation prices driven up further by the limited number of trained installers.

There are currently around 3,000 to 4,000 heat pump installers in the UK, compared to more than 130,000 gas boiler installers, but BEIS admitted that issues remain with “installation quality and consistency” even among those who are trained to install heat pumps.

It added that if the systems were poorly installed or fitted in buildings with high heat losses, they could increase fuel bills. 


This is what happens when policies are set before they are properly costed.

As for Laura Bishop, I can only assume this silly woman thinks money grows on trees!



Meanwhile greenies are getting worried that the public will soon find out about the crippling cost of their policies:



  1. Lez permalink
    June 1, 2021 4:16 pm

    ‘Heat pumps could cost homeowners up to £35,000 each’
    That’s probably more than most people spend on gas in a lifetime!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      June 1, 2021 4:50 pm

      I liked the idea of the word, ‘could’. Along with a few other of the quisling words ‘the science’ comes up with we should push them back in their faces!

  2. Ray Sanders permalink
    June 1, 2021 4:30 pm

    There is one very simple reason why air source heat pumps will never be popular – the are expensive rubbish that do not work.
    Most of the publicity and marketing literature is borderline illegal and positively dangerous.
    Take for example this official government advice.,60%C2%B0C%20or%20higher&text=Cold%20water%20should%20be%20stored%20and%20distributed%20below%2020%C2%B0C.
    Then consider how a supplier casually waives away this isuue.
    Simple fact is that if you install an ASHP your energy bill for hot water is likely to predominantly come from the extensive daily use of an immersion heater. There will be of the order of over £300 annually for hot water alone.
    I could go on and on about all the problems but an ASHP will probably cost at least double or more likely triple a gas combi boiler .to run annually

    • Lorde Late permalink
      June 6, 2021 8:35 am

      The evergreen blurb certainly has a lot of ‘you may have to do this that or the other!’ I particulary liked the bit about extra heating being required!

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    June 1, 2021 4:54 pm

    A government – actually, a rubbish Civil Service – couldn’t even hit the target for ‘free’ smart meters. There’s little hope they will for NZC and ASHPS.

  4. Tim Leeney permalink
    June 1, 2021 5:05 pm

    She’s not silly, just excessively well paid, I presume.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      June 1, 2021 6:23 pm

      Promoted beyond her intelligence.

  5. Tim the Coder permalink
    June 1, 2021 5:14 pm

    So: £35K for the heatpump.
    How much for the new consumer unit, new feed from the local substation and other electrical upgrades to power this monster?
    How much for the floors to be ripped up and underfloor heating installed? Or rooms emptied and new double size radiators?
    How much for the external building to house the water tank, etc?
    How much for the external fan/compressor unit to be replaced each timer a noise-enraged neighbour cuts the coolant pipe or jams the fan with a steel rod?
    How much for the CCTV, 24×7 monitoring, private guard response teams,security fencing and firebomb repairs?

    They just haven’t thought it through, have they?
    May be feasible on half-acre plots with detached houses: on a housing estate or terraced/semis, not so much. Block of flats? Hah!

    This house is far from the modern rabbit hutch, yet there’s nowhere to install an external unit like that pictured: two walls on party boundary: chalet style, so no wall upstairs, downstairs it’s doors and windows. Put on the pavement in the street, maybe?

    Impossible to get more than a 5 metres from a neighbours window.

  6. 2hmp permalink
    June 1, 2021 5:23 pm

    All Heat Pump,Ground pump, Tree-planters etc should be corralled and forcibly given a lecture by William Happer. It might just stop them from writing tripe.

  7. Harry Passfield permalink
    June 1, 2021 5:52 pm

    Tim, I was about to comment on the noise from ASHPs and the fact that the courts could be filled with people claiming their property prices had dropped because of noise.
    Won’t be long….

  8. ThinkingScientist permalink
    June 1, 2021 5:54 pm

    We have an air source heat-pump based tumble dryer. We bought it by accident, to replace an ageing conventional one.

    After 4 hours of continuous running you’ll be lucky if it will dry 1 double sheet and 4 pillow cases. And nothing comes out of it properly dry.

  9. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    June 2, 2021 12:29 pm

    PM Mr Nut Nut and his greentards need a reality check.

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