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This heat pump scheme is a bung to the rich

October 20, 2021

By Paul Homewood



Ross Clark on that bung:




Who does the government think will be the 90,000 lucky people who succeed in pocketing £5,000 grants to replace their gas boilers with heat pumps? Just-about-managing homeowners in ‘Red Wall’ seats who strained every sinew to buy a draughty two up, two down – or well-off homeowners with nice period houses, lots of capital and three cars on the drive?

Here’s a little clue: even taking into account the £5,000 grant it will still cost upwards of £5,000 to install the heat pump itself, plus another £10,000 for insulation and to install larger radiators – so it is really not an option for the first group. As for the second, they are bound to lap up those grants, just as they have every other environmental handout on offer.

It is always the same with green grants. Bungs to install photovoltaic panels introduced over a decade ago went to homeowners with £10,000 to invest. Thanks to the inflated prices which power providers are obliged to pay for the electricity generated by early adopters, those PV panels have become assets now paying risk-free returns of upwards of 10 per cent a year, index-linked to the Retail Prices Index.

It was the same with huge subsidies paid to homeowners to install biomass boilers – pieces of kit which are only suitable for large properties. And it happened, too, with grants for electric vehicles, which have been eagerly taken up by eco-conscious, well-off motorists who wanted to treat themselves to a second or third car. This is not to mention the fortunes which have been made by landowners with the space to install wind farms and solar farms.

But guess who pays? Most of these bungs are added to the utility bills of people who can’t afford to generate their own electricity – according to Ofgem, 25 per cent of our electricity bills are currently accounted for by environmental and social levies. It would be a little fairer if the costs were met out of general taxation, which tends to be progressive, but most come in the form of regressive taxes. With electric vehicles, the situation is even less fair: while buyers of new electric cars enjoy grants of £3,500, owners of older vehicles are now being singled out for stiff daily charges in low emissions zones.

Green incentives have long been a racket, a machine designed to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich.


Normally, there would be outrage at such a system. But when it comes to anything green, the usual rules seem to go out of the window. Indeed, many on the left, who you might think would be especially offended at the inverse redistribution of wealth, spend time demanding even more green levies and subsidies. Don’t expect much in the way of objection from Labour against the heat pump grants – only a mild complaint that new gas boilers won’t be banned at an earlier date.

  1. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    October 20, 2021 5:08 pm

    Has Johnson had a medical recently. He’s insane.

  2. GeoffB permalink
    October 20, 2021 5:09 pm

    Reverse Robin Hood, robbing the poor to pay the rich. I just cannot understand why Starmer does not take some opposition stance, he would get back all his red wall seats they lost to Boris. P.S I am a Conservative, but would vote Labour on this.

    • Matthew Gregory permalink
      October 21, 2021 6:27 pm

      Sir Kier Starmer is an invited member of the Tri-lateral Commission, the Technocrats who seek to control/govern us.

  3. October 20, 2021 5:14 pm

    The rich get richer while the poor have more babies

  4. Jack Broughton permalink
    October 20, 2021 5:18 pm

    It is absolutely amazing that it is the right wing press who are railing against these evil policies that will only enrich the well-off. The labour party, as we saw with Brexit, seem to be more under the control of the London luvvies than their traditional supporters. Is there no one to oppose the draconian, damaging stupidity of the comedian now controlling UK policy?

    • October 20, 2021 5:28 pm

      The comedienne in charge makes me angry, not laugh

    • October 20, 2021 5:50 pm

      People have short memories about the GHG impact of refrigerants. If you do believe in the impact of anthropogenic GHGs, consider this. A large heat pump installation might have a charge of 18 lbs of R-410A, the most common modern (aka ozone friendly) refrigerant for the last decade or so (source: installation booklet for great pump in our apartment). The composite GHG effectiveness of R-410A is around 4340x that of CO2 (source: Wikipedia plus simple averaging). So if a leak causes all the refrigerant to escape, you have released the GHG equivalent of 78000 lbs of CO2. Now average annual per capita electricity consumption in the UK is around 6000 kWh (source: internet for a range of values) and broad brush, if you generate your leccy with gas it’s around 1 lb of CO2 per kWh (internet). So your total loss refrigerant leak will create the same GHG impact as 13 years of your electricity consumption. Better make sure those couplings are done up tight.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 20, 2021 10:20 pm

      People who are right wing are pro-market and pro-small state, not pro-state handouts to the rich paid for by taxation.

  5. mothcatcher permalink
    October 20, 2021 8:22 pm

    That;s a very smart, concise, and accurate piece by Ross Clark. This argument, in the right hands, has got legs.

    If only one element in the mass media would take it and run with it…

    but some hope of that!

    As noted, there really isn’t a political party with any clout that isn’t in awe of the climate lobby. So, even if the message gets through to those in the Red Wall, and indeed everywhere, who are being scammed, who will they vote for? If only Nigel was up for it.

    I’m depressed.

  6. Colin R Brooks AKA Dung permalink
    October 20, 2021 8:53 pm

    I do not think people who are ‘well off’ will be stupid enough to buy a heat pump, even the rich want to stay warm!

  7. MrGrimNasty permalink
    October 20, 2021 9:19 pm

    The handling of Covid, ‘green’, the Great Reset/Build Back Better – they are designed by the elite to funnel all the money and power to themselves and to manage the ordinary folk as an expendable exploitable controlled resource.

    Even at a basic level it’s self-defeating, as with all subsidy schemes, it removes the incentive for cost savings of volume/maturing technology to be passed on to customers. The price just remains whatever the price would have been + the bung on top.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 20, 2021 10:25 pm

      Very true. Almost all of these schemes – not just in the UK – are not just pointless but actually economically damaging for exactly that reason: they remove the incentives. Every cost government meets is a cost that a private company should be trying to reduce to an absolute minimum or eliminate entirely. But government not only doesn’t know how to, it lacks the means to and the incentive to.

      Thus these scheme are not just stupid in theory, theya re set up in the world way possible.

  8. Phoenix44 permalink
    October 20, 2021 10:29 pm

    At least these subsidies are paid from general taxation, sot the money is mainly just recycled back tot hose who pay it to the state. The costs loaded to energy bills really do come from the poor and go to capitalist shareholders in renewable companies.

    Which shows how absurd the modern left really is – it’s fine to literally take money from the poor if it’s Green but they still rail inchoately against companies we voluntary pay at prices we accept like Amazon.

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