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The Heat Pump Con

October 20, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Ian Magness

 

 Perhaps the government should have been listening to the experts instead of the Committee on Climate Change!

 

 

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Having started my working life as an apprentice plumber aged 16, run my own building company for almost 30 years and then appeared as an expert on TV shows from the BBC’s Rogue Traders to House Of Horrors on ITV, I thought I’d seen it all when it came to the building trade.

But even I have been unprepared by the scale of opposition to the heat pumps that the Government is so keen to make us all fit in our homes, having ripped out our gas boilers first.

On the building advice website that I now run, I have been deluged by unhappy customers who were persuaded to install heat pumps (which are either ground source or air source, depending on design) but who bitterly regretted their decision.

One told me that he bought a new-build house which had an air source heat pump installed.

The customer’s bills were similar to those from the gas boilers they had before: But now they pay an extra £450 a year for service and maintenance if something goes wrong – as it frequently does.

Another contact of mine in the trade told me of a customer north of the border who had a ground source heat pump installed thanks to a Scottish government grant. He said it had never worked.

Contractors had dug up his garden three times to refit various components. Eventually he gave up altogether, dismantled it, installed solar panels – and now relies on his old oil boiler during the winter.

And for these reasons, along with all my extensive experience in the trade, I know that the Government’s new scheme to offer £5,000 grants to householders to install heat pumps is doomed to fail.

Yes, it’s vital that we reduce the environmental impact of buildings. But in British homes, heat pumps are not the answer.

I know that the Government¿s new scheme to offer £5,000 grants to householders to install heat pumps is doomed to fail

I know that the Government’s new scheme to offer £5,000 grants to householders to install heat pumps is doomed to fail

Let me be clear: I’d be the first person to take out my old gas boiler and install a heat pump if I knew it would be an improvement.

But it wouldn’t and – unless you live in an unusually well-insulated and modern home, perhaps in a rural area – nor will it be the right decision for you.

Air source heat pumps, which sit on patios or external walls, look like metal boxes with large fans inside – and like all fans, they make a bit of a noise when they’re switched on. 

They have been around for years on the continent – especially in Scandinavia, where houses are better insulated than they are in Britain. 

If they worked well, they would not need a government grant to bribe householders to fit them.

But they do. Why?

Because far from enjoying cheaper, more efficient heat in their homes, UK families who fit them often find their electricity bills double or treble; the noisy heat pumps drive them to distraction; their house is colder; their shower lukewarm and in all too many cases they wish they could get their old gas boiler back.

Few people seem to realise that it is pointless to install a heat pump unless your house is extremely well-insulated and draught-proofed to keep it airtight.

Otherwise, the heat seeps out – and cannot be restored quickly enough by the heat pump.

Gas boilers, in contrast, heat houses very fast – which means that they can replace heat quicker than it seeps out of a house.

Modern new-builds in the UK are generally well -insulated, but they are still not designed for heat pumps.

Most houses currently using gas boilers need to fit larger radiators and pipes, meaning major disruption and a hefty bill.

For older houses, it would typically be better to replace radiators with underfloor heating, which is more efficient and gives a better spread of heat.

But that means taking up floors to install it, meaning more expense, disruption and waste.

As for the £5,000 Government grant, it will barely make a dent in the costs for most people: A new air source heat pump system can cost £10,000 on average including installation.

And you can bet that companies approved to do this grant-aided work will put their prices up – by a remarkably consistent £5,000 or so.

The Government recently ran a pilot scheme outside Newcastle, offering to take out gas boilers and replace them with air source heat pumps for free.

But they couldn’t give the pumps away: People simply didn’t want the disruption.

Boris Johnson wants households to shift from gas boilers to greener heat pumps which run on electricity rather than gas

Boris Johnson wants households to shift from gas boilers to greener heat pumps which run on electricity rather than gas

Even Caroline Lucas, the high-profile Green Party MP, has compared installing heat pumps without properly insulating houses first to trying to make tea in a broken teapot. She’s right.

The great irony is that heat pumps work best when you need them least.

Air source heat pumps operate by taking air from outside and, thanks to a clever design, using this air to warm a compressed gas which is then used to heat your home and its hot water system.

If the outside temperature is above 5C, the heat pump will deliver heat into your home. You will be happy and may even save money.

As the temperature drops to below freezing, however, the heat pump delivers less heat into your home – just when you need it. If your home is heated by a gas boiler, you can realistically expect your hot taps to deliver water at about 60C.

With a heat pump, especially in very cold weather, that might drop to some 40C.

Water at that temperature will only give you a tepid bath – while also increasing the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease, a bacterial lung infection that can kill.

When it’s freezing outside and your heat pump is struggling, your radiators will also feel tepid to the touch.

Unless you want to shiver, you are likely to need another source of heat such as a wood-burning stove – not very environmentally friendly.

So rather than persuading householders to rip up their floorboards, swap out all their radiators with larger ones and commit themselves to a potentially ruinous – and environmentally useless – new heating system, it would be far better to ensure that people’s houses are properly insulated first.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10109299/ROGER-BISBY-Heat-pumps-one-biggest-cons-Ive-seen-building-trade.html

Unfortunately what Roger Bisby omits to mention is that there are no other alternatives which make any sense either. Certainly not hydrogen, which offers the only other low carbon option.

He mentions insulation, as if this was a solution, but does not explain who will pay for it, or why this will eliminate emissions of carbon dioxide.

Instead of meekly accepting that “we must reduce the environmental impact of buildings”, he should be attacking the whole decarbonisation agenda.

42 Comments
  1. Robert Christopher permalink
    October 20, 2021 9:47 am

    It’s not as though this hasn’t been known for decades.

    And will the BBC report this?

  2. Stonyground permalink
    October 20, 2021 10:07 am

    Every time such issues are discussed, it needs to be repeated that the idea that CO2 emissions have any significant effect on the climate has been falsified. Not one single prediction based on this hypothesis has been correct, not one in thirty years. If there was a definite need to reduce emissions then some of this insanity might be justified but there simply isn’t.

    • October 20, 2021 11:54 am

      Worse. For what is claimed about CO2 there has to be empirical data produced by experimentation. No such data exists. Don’t take my word for it, go look and you will be shocked because the whole perverse circus pretends it does exist.

      There exists no statistically significant empirical data of any kind which supports the claim that CO2 liberated by the actions of man during the last 100 years has had any measurable effect on the current 350 year old warming, the onset of which heralded the end of the awful Little Ice Age.

      This whole charade is shot through with double speak and sleight of hand . There exists NO empirical data based proof of the greenhouse effect, only theory. The shocking aspect of cynical manipulation in this respect is the omission of the largest possible source of this effect, water vapour from any discussion or writing on the greenhouse effect. There is solid physics supported by geological history which demonstrates what CO2 can and cannot do in an atmosphere. The other totally disingenuous aspect of the weasel language used is they talk about “effect” never magnitude of effect. Water vapour is firstly a much more active potential greenhouse gas than CO2 per molecule AND there is 400 times more of it in the atmosphere. Just one look at a comparison of the electromagnetic spectra for Water Vapour and CO2 tells you which absorbs more infra red energy. With this in mind water vapour if ever mentioned appears as a footnote. On the latest garbage report produced by people in non jobs https://productiongap.org/2021report/ has a glossary in which greenhouse gasses are listed and they do not even mention the main one, water vapor!

      Science is the search for truth. Science is NOT about supporting political agendas. Science is dispassionate and apolitical. Science is also based purely on empirical data not models. Models do not produce empirical data.

      We are told this repeatedly that it is “all about the science” and “listen to the scientist” but it is not science just to keep repeating the word. I do not know one ( even corrupt) scientist who does not know that without the existence of empirical data a claim stays as a claim or assertion until supported by statistically significant empirical data produced by a falsifiable methodology which has been rigorously challenged and tested.

      It can only be concluded that their house of cards is not based on science of any kind.

      Next , the complete nonsense and drivel spouted about klymutt chaeynge with every religious acolyte now an expert whenever there is a warm day or a storm. “If” there is no proof of cause (CO2) , then there can be no proven effect climate change) If you are doing science then you cannot have it any other way.

      We have empirical data for both surface temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration over geological time. There is NO correlation whatsoever. There is hard evidence that CO2 does not control temperature and that “runaway” heating and “tipping points” do not exist. That is science yet it is ignored. This should not come as a surprise because it is in agreement with the physics. Also the atmosphere is part of the Earth’s geological history. There are many different causes involved including the big yellow thing in the sky, the Earth’s eccentric orbit and yes the strong brownian motion producer the atmosphere. It is totally disingenuous for the weasels therefore to not begin any discussion of CO2 in the atmosphere without starting from a look at the WHOLE history. Not the little bit which suits their bankrupt narrative.

      That speaks volumes about the crock that this all is

      The magical 1.5 degrees is touted as if this is in the future. No this is from the end of the Little Ice Age! That is how trivial this wonderous warming has been. So the nut jobs are using an abnormally cold temperature as their base line! Where do you ever see them put this into context against a global “ideal temperature”? A global average is a complete nonsense for many many reasons yet because it is convenient the weasels stick with this. Also for much of the time they claim to “know” there has been virtually no recording of temperature over vast areas of the globe so how can they be so certain as they claim.

      It was warmer in at least 2 of the previous “warms” in recent human history. That is empirical data based fact. Where were the catastrophes/ extinctions? What happened and happens is when it gets warmer, mankind thrives. Colder mankind is imperilled. We both know this is a scam but just how many people “believe” it beggars belief.

      We is being had and part of the way to achieve this has been the attack on science and mathematics. “The Enlightenment is dead. Long live the new dark age”!

      • October 20, 2021 12:54 pm

        Quote from Rio 1992 UN Environmental Conference where the hoax was born.

        “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized nations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about? How better to accomplish the collapse then to create mass hysteria proselytized by the willing dupes in our education system that CO2 is going to destroy the world because allegedly it will cause the temperature to go up 3*C”

        CO2 demonization was chosen because of the letter C and Carbon is associated with dirty coal and fossil fuel’s and can be taxed, The same cannot be done with water vapor the largest component of greenhouse gas. So the life giving CO2 became the tool to cripple the West and all the stupid politicians who bought in to the hoax. A world domineering eco-industry of corrupt science produced by “troughing” quasi scientists, wealthy charities {FoE, WWF, Greedpiece, Siera Club, TIDES, and etc.) snake oil shysters in the “renewables” rip-off industry.

        Like lemming running for the cliff, the West’s political self flagellating leaders are intent on destroying the economies of the West. Meanwhile, in the real world, China, Asia and Russia are pursuing and expanding their fossil fueled economies and laughing at the West.

    • Robert Christopher permalink
      October 20, 2021 12:00 pm

      So true, but that’s enough to be banned by the BBC from appearing on their programmes: that is the biggest block to educating the public in the UK.

      The public don’t know that they don’t know!

      • October 20, 2021 1:43 pm

        Thanks to the abysmal quality of state education over the past decades

  3. cookers52 permalink
    October 20, 2021 10:30 am

    I have a Toyota self charging hybrid car, it decides whether it is an electric or petrol car, depending on what we are doing and what is available. I have no problems with the car itvdoes everything anyone would want from a car, no problems with range, power, cost to run etc, and it was not any more expensive to buy.

    We need a hybrid home heating unit for this government idea to become reality.

    We must not give up the gas network as that allows primary fuel to be piped into people’s homes.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      October 20, 2021 11:49 am

      So, you have a car where either its engine is carting around a heavy battery, or its battery carting around a heavy engine?

      • Joe Public permalink
        October 20, 2021 1:55 pm

        The battery is a store for the energy generated during deceleration and braking.

        Likewise having a wildly variable source of electricity generation PLUS a dispatchable source of generation to ensure power is available 24/7 means the variable source can be classed as redundant.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 20, 2021 1:46 pm

      So how come buying two engines with complex switching gear wasn’t more expensive?

      And how come having that extra engine and gear doesn’t increase the weight and thus the running costs? And thus the range.

  4. A Keith permalink
    October 20, 2021 10:36 am

    Like Roger, I also ran a small building company in the past and designed and installed central heating system. I also designed and built a new house from a derelict ruin a large part with .y own labour. Recently I project managed a new house build. I agree almost entirely with what Roger says, except that, having installed ground source heat pumps in the two new houses, I find these work well and are economic. Of course, both these houses are well insulated and have an additional feature which he has not covered. This is the installation of a heat recovery ventilation system. New houses are invariably air-tight and to achieve adequate ventilation need vents, typically trickle vents fitted in window heads. Depending on how the house is managed and wind direction, ventilation levels can vary from totally inadequate to excessively draughty. If the recommended levels of air change are met (typically 1-2 air changes per hour), the house will lose around 25% of its heat requirement in this way As a HRV system will recover 90% of this heat the overall heat loss is reduced by 22.5% while a fresh atmosphere is maintained and humidity reduced. The additional cost for this in a new build is about £3.5k. Some existing properties, such as bungalows are easily retrofitted but multi-storey ones are more challenging. Given the relatively low cost, it would seem that such systems would be economically viable even without subsidy, so I am at a loss to understand why architects and specifiers do not seem to be interested. Perhaps others can enlighten me.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 20, 2021 1:47 pm

      Because virtually nobody agrees with you that they work well.

  5. The Informed Consumer permalink
    October 20, 2021 10:36 am

    Nor does he mention whole house ventilation, and it must be good, which cost’s an arm and a leg to install as well.

    Around 4 years ago I did a costing exercise to have my modest, three bedroom, solid masonry, EOT, Victorian cottage brought up to ‘NetZero’ standards. All in all, including redecoration (insulation must be fitted internally in my case) the cost was north of £100,000.

    Coincidentally, Professor of engineering Michael Kelly did a similar thing on a national scale and came up with £75,000 – £100,000 per average UK dwelling.

    The Heat pump salesman was honest enough to say that no matter what I did to the house, a Heat pump just wouldn’t work.

    Since then, I happen to know that building costs have shot up. An extension to my house around the same time was quoted around £50,000. As it took us some time to get planning permission I re-costed this spring, it’s now £100,000!

    But we know this scheme will fail, because it’s not meant to succeed, it’s a ploy by Boris in the immediate run up to COP26. It will be abandoned like most other stupid schemes because the application process will be so deliberately convoluted people will just give up. Installers other than the likes of British Gas just won’t waste their precious time becoming accredited as the paperwork and effort will, again, be just too onerous.

    It will, however, be akin to the double glazing scam of the 1970’s with cowboy builders cashing in.

    Prof. Kelly also points out the country only has around one third of the physical labour necessary to undertake the work required for NetZero. The public simply won’t stand for millions of skilled immigrants to be imported to fix this problem.

    The only people who could possibly gain from this idiotic policy, even were it to work, are the banks, dishing out millions of mortgage extensions and loans to the gullible householder.

    • HotScot permalink
      October 20, 2021 10:37 am

      HotScot………

  6. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 20, 2021 10:40 am

    At the risk of repeating myself, replacing well-imbedded gas heating systems with micky-mouse heat pumps (spellcheck just suggested ‘pimps’ – how apt) is the greatest demonstration of the Bastiat broken window paradox I’ve ever come across.

  7. Ray Sanders permalink
    October 20, 2021 11:08 am

    I am not about to go all “greenie” but there are potentially other forms of heating available that do not principally use oil, gas, coal, wood or electricity. In the UK heating is seasonal due to our high latitude. Significantly more energy from the sun hits our homes over the course of the year (approx 1,000kWh per square metre horizontal area per annum) than we consume in heating them in the winter months (average say 10,000kWh per annum). The problem is that over 75% of that solar energy obviously comes when we do not need to heat our homes i.e. the late spring, summer and early autumn!
    A system to collect and store excess summer heat energy to utilise in the winter (known as Inter Seasonal Heat Transfer) would be a possible option. “Harvesting” solar heat via a solar thermal panel is actually very efficient (over 70%) as opposed to the very low efficiency of solar PV panels (say 14% at very best). The real bugger, as with all renewables, is to somehow store that energy without losses over a long period in an energy dense and manageable quantity and product.
    Thermochemical energy storage is a process where heat applied to a product A breaks it down to 2 separate products B and C to be stored. When these latter products are later recombined they reform the original product A and emit heat. This reversible process can continue through literally thousands of cycles.
    http://www.e-hub.org/thermochemical-materials.html
    In practical application product A is usually a hydrated salt where the solar heat reduces down the H2O content and, as water is readily available, it is discarded. To deliver the heat later, the stored (now anhydrous) salt is combined with water and reforms the original product.
    There is clearly a long way to go with refining this system but clearly it has one major drawback….once fitted there is no ongoing “fuel” input to charge for and only minimal system maintenance. There is no option to continuously make a fast buck out of it.

    http://www.e-hub.org/thermo-chemical-storage.html

  8. Post BREXIT permalink
    October 20, 2021 11:21 am

    For once I find myself agreeing with St Greta and her description of political leaders with their Blah Blah Blah contribution to the GW debate.
    The UK political set are simply paying lip service to the Eco-warriors vocal minority with these minor. meaningless announcements.
    However, with all political parties nailing their colours to the CC mast it is difficult to see how they can change tack now. We can expect more drivel over time from both the eco-loons and politicos as each next ‘doomsday’ deadline comes and goes.
    At what point will there be a realisation that there is no ‘Climate Emergency’ and no amount of money wasted by the politicos will control the climate.

  9. Ian PRSY permalink
    October 20, 2021 11:21 am

    The Guardian’s take on this is:

    “Nowhere is this clearer than in the section of the strategy dealing with the heating of homes and other buildings. Heating accounts for almost a third of the UK’s total emissions, and progress on reducing these has long lagged behind other areas. Bold action to end households’ dependence on gas was urgently needed. But instead of clear deadlines, the strategy states only an “ambition” that by 2035 no new gas boilers will be installed. And while grants to enable 90,000 households to install low-carbon heat pumps are likely to be popular, gestures such as this are not enough.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/19/the-guardian-view-on-the-net-zero-strategy-not-tough-enough

    Note: “.. heat pumps are likely to be popular …” Different world, obvs.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      October 20, 2021 12:16 pm

      Having seen pics of the sort of town-houses Guardianistas might live in in London I can just bet they’re all signed up for heat-pumps. They could possibly arrange to have an off-road (=over the pavement) EV charge-point installed at the same time!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 20, 2021 1:50 pm

      By “bold action” the Guardian always means coercing people to do what the Guardian thinks people should do, regardless of what people actually want. They seem to think just holding their opinions is proof enough those opinions are correct.

  10. Subseaeng permalink
    October 20, 2021 11:32 am

    We live in rural South East England (yes it does exist) and have had an air source heat pump installed and operating since 2009. I admit I was seduced by the promised lower running costs overall compared to the oil based system (no mains gas here) and as oil prices were rocketing up it did deliver those savings in the early years but only just breaks even now compared to the cost of oil and leccy. Our house is reasonably well insulated so it has been OK but just OK. It works best with underfloor heating acting as a very large radiator which we don’t have so we have had to upsize some rads around the house. We don’t have any issues with hot water for washing showers etc. (surely anything over body heat 39 deg C is dangerous?). We also have a wood burning stove for this days when it is very cold. Would I reccomend one? Only if walls, floors, windows etc have Scandi standards of insulation and underfloor heating. Like all systems, it is horses for courses and we should be using a mix of systems to the most efficient extent. This headlong rush to heat pumps is doomed to fail. Why can’t the blob see this?

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      October 20, 2021 11:49 am

      Like you I also live in rural south east (Elham Valley) but I do have a gas supply (last one on the outskirts of the village) . A near neighbour was equally oil dependent as you and opted for an ASHP as the cheapest installation option. To say he regretted the decision was somewhat of an understatement. Overall his energy bills all but tripled. He is actually now considering going back to some form of easier combustion system as he is fed up continually having to light his wood burner just to stay warm!

      • Robert Christopher permalink
        October 20, 2021 12:16 pm

        If Gas (Methane), for the same cost, delivers at least four times the energy than Electricity, it would be expected that the Electricity used replacing the Gas would be at least three times the cost, given that Gas loses some ‘up the chimney’ unlike Electricity.

        And the Electricity consumed by an ASHP could easily be powered by coal or gas, especially while our generating plant is so poorly managed, so they might have well kept their gas boiler!

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      October 20, 2021 12:00 pm

      Regarding the issue ” (surely anything over body heat 39 deg C is dangerous?).” indeed it is in contact with the skin and prolonged exposure to much over 50°C in a bath could induce serious burns. However stored water must be raised to over 60°C to kill and/or avoid the growth of Legionella which can most certainly be fatal.
      https://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      October 20, 2021 12:09 pm

      “This headlong rush to heat pumps is doomed to fail. Why can’t the blob see this?”
      With my tin-foil hat on…perhaps they want it to fail. the country will be very poor and vulnerable.

    • Tym fern permalink
      October 21, 2021 4:11 pm

      Body heat 39?

  11. Joe Public permalink
    October 20, 2021 12:15 pm

    “Otherwise, the heat seeps out – and cannot be restored quickly enough by the heat pump.

    Gas boilers, in contrast, heat houses very fast – which means that they can replace heat quicker than it seeps out of a house.”

    Heat pump advocates always seem to forget (or are ignorant of) the fact that undersized HPs bolted onto a system designed for a swift-response boiler must run for many hours longer per day (sometimes 24/7 in winter) to try to maintain comfort conditions, and so cost more to run (than natural gas). As Roger states, undersized HPs are incapable of responding rapidly.

    All the time a heat source is providing heat, the heated building is naturally losing some of that heat.

    Boiler systems are usually sized & designed to enable the boiler to be switched off overnight (say 23:30 – 06:00 depending upon occupants activities), AND, switched off during the day if all occupants are out (working!) (say 08:30 – 16:00). This saves huge amounts of energy and money for boiler users.

    Imagine trying to heat a 5,000 litre tank of water to boiling point with a candle.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      October 20, 2021 1:08 pm

      Indeed, consider running the 100W circulating pump for 16 hours every day instead of the 6 for a gas boiler. 1kWh per day for every day of the say 28 week heating season shoves another £40+ on the fire.

  12. Joe Public permalink
    October 20, 2021 1:42 pm

    Matt at his best:

    • October 20, 2021 1:51 pm

      Hmm, I don’t agree with reducing the important issue to a simplistic joke like that
      Mad green policies do cause real world harm.

  13. Phoenix44 permalink
    October 20, 2021 1:43 pm

    In what way is it a surprise that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, either in economics or in physics? You can’t just conjure heat for homes from wishful thinking. Or government subsidies.

  14. October 20, 2021 1:46 pm

    To bring things into perspective on the CO2 conundrum lets start at the beginning with a quote from the UN’s 1992 Rio Conference.

    ‘” Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized nations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about? How better to accomplish the collapse then to create mass hysteria proselytized by the willing dupes in our education system that CO2 is going to destroy the world because allegedly it will cause the temperature to go up 3*C”

    CO2 is a rather benign life-giving trace gas in our atmosphere. It is the C which is the negative driver because it is a component of dirty coal and all fossil fuels and cans be taxed. The larges component of “green house” gases is water vapor which cannot be taxed. Good old CO2 has become the driver of todays madness.

    A large and very lucrative eco-industry has emerged and is driven by quasi scientist’s and so-called Science Institution’s who have maliciously corrupted science to get the “right “results to fit the doomsday CO2 narrative. On the back of this has sprung up the wealthy eco-charities ( FoE, WWF, Greedpiece, TIDES, Sierra Club to name a few). These “Charities” are influential Lobbyist’s in the political Arena’s. Then there is the eco -snake oil shysters looking to profit from Renewables Industries (Wind, Solar, Biomass – such as Drax, EV’s, Hydrogen, Heat Pumps and etc.). The MSM and governmental advisors have failed miserably in their mandate for truth and have become Propagandists for the Green Plan

    All this activity has not been sanctioned by voters in any Nation. Meanwhile as the West heads like lemmings to the cliff of death China, Asia and Russia smile and rub their palms as they accelerate and enlarge their fossil bases economies,

  15. MrGrimNasty permalink
    October 20, 2021 1:49 pm

    Harrabin goes all out delusional eco-nutter activist spouter of utter insane tripe. If it wasn’t there on the BBC you’d think it came from one of the spoof news sites.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-58973826

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 20, 2021 1:54 pm

      “Who will pay'”?

      It’s like he thinks there’s some sort of magic by which people – all of us – won’t be the ones paying.

      But then hid understanding ov through complexities of our economy is childlike at best. These are vandals tearing down a large, beautiful palace and replacing it with za child’s drawing of a house.

    • October 20, 2021 1:59 pm

      Harra’s title is “Is the UK’s green plan enough to halt climate change?”

      As will all PR he is first trying to FRAME the issue so you dance to his tune
      When reporters use the Question As A Headline technique
      the answer can always be YES or NO
      but the effect is to create doubt in the mind of the reader.

      WE do not have to chance to Harra’s tune
      we can ask our own more important questions.

  16. October 20, 2021 2:00 pm

    There is a simple bit of physics behind all this: the equilibrium temperature is reached when heat-in = heat-out. In principle a candle could heat a house, if its heat-out were tiny, but its not, and heat-in for a heat pump is a lot less than for a gas boiler.

    • H Davis permalink
      October 20, 2021 6:58 pm

      Which is why heat pumps are only effective in well insulated houses.

  17. Ilma630 permalink
    October 20, 2021 2:00 pm

    Why are our MPs too thick to understand this???

    • October 20, 2021 2:34 pm

      Because the level of scientific, engineering & economic knowledge required is too much for their pea-like brains to take on board

  18. SimonfromAshby permalink
    October 20, 2021 2:04 pm

    No-one seems to have pointed out that we are not generating enough electricity to cover for a mass change to heat pumps. What will get preference; home heating; car recharging or HS2?

    • Ilma630 permalink
      October 20, 2021 3:43 pm

      Hopefully, the lights, and the non-smartmeter premises who they won’t be able to switch off.

  19. mervhob permalink
    October 20, 2021 2:51 pm

    The other problem is where the non-intermittent electricity to supply all these heat pumps and electric cars comes from? Batteries store electrical energy as Direct Current (DC) Efficient electrical distribution uses Alternating Current (AC). There are inherent energy losses in transforming DC to AC, mainly due to the ratio between the AC integral and its DC equivalent, plus heat losses in the semiconductor switches used to make the transformation possible. Unfortunately, DC transmission of power is limited in distance, due to copper losses, unless the voltage is extremely high – as pointed out by Lord Kelvin in 1901 (Another one of those pesky Victorians that made real technical progress possible…) We have closed down so many coal powered power stations that continuous supply is now on a knife edge. The only means we can supplement the intermittency of ‘green’ electrical sources are gas and nuclear and it takes up to 10 years to build a nuclear power station and then we boil water to drive Charles Parson’s turbines, etc… All of the existing energy storage schemes are volumetrically limited in efficiency and have high capital cost, so we face a desperate shortage of continuous electrical power in the winter months which will be born by the energy poor. No problem down Belgravia and Park Lane of course, but we could ‘level up’ the shortfall by crashing the property market back down to equitable levels and reducing rents back to sensible levels to provide the necessary margin to support ‘green’ policies. Are you listening, Boris…?

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