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Britons face £15,000 bill for heat pump upgrade – report exposes ‘significant’ hidden cost

November 22, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

 Perhaps the Express should have been reading this blog years ago, which has been warning about these astronomical costs:

 

 

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BRITONS have been warned they face forking out up to £15,000 for the installation of heat pumps, despite cheaper alternatives offering the same comfort and benefits, Mike Foster, CEO of the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), has told Express.co.uk.

A new report published by the non-profit Energy and Utilities Alliance has highlighted the exorbitant costs households face in the push for cleaner, greener homes. As part of the Government’s commitment to a net zero economy by 2050, Britons are being encouraged to do away with their polluting gas boilers in favour of carbon-free alternatives. One such alternative are heat pumps take energy from the outside and transfer it into heat that can be circulated around the home.

Although a relatively new introduction in the UK, heat pumps have garnered a lot of sympathy from environmentalists because of their efficiency and reduced emissions.

And yet, according to the EUA, households that opt to replace their gas boilers with heat pumps potentially face a five-fold cost increase, when compared to hydrogen-ready boilers.

In its report, the trade association claimed households can presently expect to pay up to £15,000 for the transition, depending on their household.

The eco-friendly boilers can range in price anywhere from £6,000 to £27,000 and more, and that does not include a number of other upgrades and hidden costs involved.

According to Mike Foster, Chief Executive Officer, the choice between the two options is obvious: hydrogen-ready boilers are the way forward.

He told Express.co.uk: "The problem that the vast majority of homes face, is that if we go down the route of installing heat pumps, to get the effectiveness of heat pumps most homes will have to undergo significant upfront costs in terms of meeting energy efficiency requirements and new heat distribution systems.

"So, new radiators, possibly new pipework, and almost certainly a hot water cylinder where homes don’t have one at the moment.

"And those are significant upfront, one-off costs that add up to a sum of money that, frankly, most households can only dream of having at their disposal."

The disparity between the two options comes down to the additional energy efficiency measures and hidden costs associated with heat pumps.

These can include the need to install hot water cylinders and new radiators, and in a worst-case scenario, new internal pipework.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1524264/heat-pump-upgrade-cost-gas-hydrogen-ready-boilers-price-net-zero-emissions?

The EUA is pushing hydrogen ready boilers as an alternative. But these are no better.

The problem with hydrogen is not the cost of boilers, which are essentially little different to conventional ones. The real issue lies with the crippling cost of producing the gas in the first place, as well as the overwhelming difficulties associated with storing it.

46 Comments
  1. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    November 22, 2021 9:57 pm

    Someone please explain why the UK does not stick with natural gas until this country sorts out it’s nuclear power ?
    Or is there some sort of alternative agenda ?
    One that does not entail a large population requiring any heating ?

    • roger permalink
      November 22, 2021 10:21 pm

      As always follow the money. Unfortunately we will as usual be unable to follow the money until we have been legislated and we have handed it over but you can be sure that the recipients have all been selected and waiting for their bank accounts to be filled.
      It is a time honoured recipe and we succumb every time.

      • StephenP permalink
        November 23, 2021 6:53 am

        Yes, follow the money.
        The suggestion made yesterday that people take out a mortgage to pay for the heat pump, as well as a raft of extra costs, seems like manna from heaven to the financial institutions who will be providing the mortgages.
        Where will the money come from? Created out of thin air by the banks or borrowed from the Chinese, who will no doubt be ramping up their heatpump production.
        Also consider the temperatures we are experiencing at present, between 1 and 7 degrees Celsius.
        How useful are heat pumps in these conditions?
        As an aside I see that wind is providing less than 4 GW, where yesterday we had a peak demand of 44 GW.
        I ask you, aren’t there any politicians who see the downside of what they are foisting on us?

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        November 23, 2021 8:57 am

        StephenP that’s just wrong. Banks are never short of potential borrowers. It’s borrowers who can pay it back and pay the interest they owe, with security over assets if they don’t. Nobody will lend people already borrowed to the hilt on their house and EV yet more money. And that’s the issue with this stuff – it’s not just an EV or a hear pump. It’s an EV, a heat pump, higher taxes, higher energy bills, higher food prices, lower productivity in the economy….

        Treating each cost separately looks bad but in total its a disaster.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 23, 2021 8:52 am

      How would that allow Johnson to Save The World? How would pragmatism make him a hero with Biden? How would keeping us warm make him the darling g of the Greens?

      It’s not money for him or Biden but acclaim and popularity with the clique of people they want to acclaim them. The money sharks smell ego in the water.

    • Jordan permalink
      November 23, 2021 7:30 pm

      Douglas – nuclear power is not cheap and economically efficient. We have this madcap process of demonizing CO2 to shove out coal and gas fired power as energy sources for the coming decades. It fabricates a gap in the market to allow people to claim the answer is nuclear.
      There is enough coal and gas to leave nuclear power for a couple of centuries. Technology will have advanced in leaps and bounds by then, and we will not need to resort to today’s inferior nuclear technology.

  2. November 22, 2021 10:05 pm

    The faults lie with the Dummkopf politicos and those gullible folk they have connned.

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 22, 2021 10:31 pm

    BULB says:

    “We provide all our members with 100% renewable electricity. For every unit you use, we make sure a unit is produced and put on the grid by a renewable source including solar, wind and hydro. Plus, our gas is 100% carbon neutral. We offset the emissions from the gas we supply by supporting carbon reduction projects around the world. We’re also one of the biggest buyers of green gas for homes in the UK. So a chunk of our gas mix comes from renewable sources, too.”

    Another one bites the dust. No other company wants the 1.7M customers. Taxpayer on the hook for bailout……

    We are now the victims of an unprecedented Kakocracy!

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      November 23, 2021 12:11 am

      A reminder of the lies now that the Bulb has gone ping:

    • Gerry, England permalink
      November 23, 2021 1:12 pm

      And Bulb were the 7th largest supplier….what if the next ones falls over? On the plus side we won’t be seeing their annoying TV adverts anymore.

  4. November 22, 2021 10:43 pm

    If you live in a block of flats you don’t have a heat pump option anyway.

  5. John Wilson permalink
    November 22, 2021 10:55 pm

    The French are building small modular nuclear plants that are cost effective and can be used on a city by city basis to produce electricity. Surely a centralized system using existing infrastructure makes way more sense than expensive individual dwelling solutions. Using heat pumps is stupid and wasteful.

    • November 22, 2021 11:06 pm

      Everything about decarbonisation is like that.

    • November 23, 2021 6:22 am

      They aren’t building them. They’re planning to. A big difference

    • Sobaken permalink
      November 23, 2021 6:54 am

      Where are the French building new SMRs? As far as I know, there’s only a plan to build 6 new EPR reactors, to maintain 50 GW of nuclear by 2050. And only Flamanville 3 is currently under construction, it’s not even guaranteed that the rest will start construction.
      Also, I don’t know of many successful application of SMR technology to electricity/heat cogeneration. There are Bilibino and Lomonosov plants in Russia, both used in remote locations, but that’s it. There were two more projects of 2×500 MWth reactors (Voronezh and Gorky plants), that were meant to be used for district heating of larger cities, but they got cancelled with the fall of the Soviet Union and never built.

  6. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    November 22, 2021 11:11 pm

    This is just nuts.
    When even a most basic requirement such as keeping warm cannot be organized. We’re more than two decades into the 21st century, yet cannot even get this necessity honed satisfactory !

    While in the meantime ever more ways to consume electricity are brought into play, e.g. smart cities, cashless society and all transportation.
    Let the greens have power for 12 months, get it out of their system,
    demonstrate it cannot be done their way and then let’s get on with real, warm affordable life.
    If this is an example of The Green New Deal it’s certainly no bargain.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 23, 2021 9:01 am

      It doesn’t need to be “organised” any more than the millions of lunches provided each day in London are “organised”. Just have a regulator actually doing their job instead of indulging in climate change fantasies.

      • Douglas Dragonfly permalink
        November 23, 2021 9:36 am

        I think I understanding the point you are making and agree about regulators as long as they are given the appropriate powers.
        You choice of allegory had me thinking of the Tifin Tins of Mumbai and their delivery system.
        You point is well made. Greater regulation would of prevented Grenfell Tower for example.
        Things feel very short term and ‘bodged’ these days.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 23, 2021 1:21 pm

        Not greater regulation but the correct regulations – and given that Building Regulations were an ‘occupied area’ where the EU had control, the power to make your own regulations. If we were in control, then the British Standard cladding system test could have been a requirement on the Regs.

  7. Mack permalink
    November 23, 2021 12:07 am

    ‘Up to £15,000’? Ha ha. My friend, who lives in a housing association property, has had an air sourced heat pump system thrust upon him by his landlords on the promise of a 40% saving in his electrify bills. His bills have gone up 25% since the system’s introduction. In just 12 months! The cost of the system was £13k, borne by the landlord, albeit my pal’s weekly rent has climbed to pay for it. However, no additional insulation or complimentary glazing was added to the property to make the new heating system actually work properly! Call me shocked. Blue sky ‘green’ thinking at work!

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      November 23, 2021 12:15 am

      Government plans to force rental properties to meet EPC C are going to result in lots of cases like this – and also in the withdrawal of lots of properties that they can’t afford to upgrade and will be banned from selling or renting. Result: homelessness, cold and poverty.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        November 23, 2021 11:44 am

        I believe we may have discussed this issue before. I have three rental properties and recently did various “upgrades” to ensure they all met “C”. All three surveyors had remarkably little knowledge of what was required and were basically just box tickers. For my part I had documentary and photographic evidence of issues that they would normally have simply “assumed” were not there and down graded. It actually seemed that changing lightbulbs (“in fixed outlets”) and fitting TRVs made as much difference as solid wall insulation which I did not do.
        Weirdly the EPCs for all three properties show differing levels of presumed energy consumption for hot water despite all of them having exactly the same combi boiler model, bath/shower mixer and household occupancy…work that one out!?!

  8. Derek Wood permalink
    November 23, 2021 12:16 am

    The entire thing is becoming(almost)unbelievably ridiculous now. We sheeple are being offered a choice of outrageously expensive sledgehammers to crack a non-existent nut. is there anyone out there with a voice loud enough to label this mind-boggling stupidity for what it is?

  9. November 23, 2021 12:59 am

    Why spend 15k+++ making your house less warm and less attractive to potential buyers?

    In South Australia we had reverse cycle split air-conditioners in each main room. Fast cooling and heating, controllable, easily installed and only used for the rooms when needed. I realise the SA hills do not get very cold, but frosts and zero degrees are common in winter. I have never understood why so few houses (and cars) in UK have sir conditioning

    • Steve permalink
      November 23, 2021 3:34 am

      I have a reverse air con unit in my small well insulated house in Southern France. It doesn’t work after October. I use a radiant paraffin heater and electric water heating.

    • November 23, 2021 7:28 am

      Aanbfields,

      we don’t have a lot of air conditioning in the U.K. because it is not hot enough to need it except on very rare occasions.
      Also electricity is very expensive so would simply add to our living costs.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      November 23, 2021 9:03 am

      aandbfields:
      Living (retired) in the SA Hills for 16 years I relied on gas heating in winter. Small double brick house (and insulated) and quite cosy. I would shut down the heater before bedtime and startup in the morning. House never lower that 10.5℃ on the coldest mornings (local minimum temps. minus 3 -5℃). In summer I occasionally ran the reverse cycle air conditioner.
      The neighbours thought I was wasting money, they relied on wood fires in winter, although I think a quite a few used the air conditioner in summer. Anecdotally some used it for quick heating when coming home in winter. I never found it necessary. Those at home during the day would heat the house with wood fire and let it smoulder overnight.
      I have moved and now rely on an air conditioner and it is useless on really cold mornings. Trying to raise the temperature from 11℃ internal when it was 1.4℃ external didn’t work as the outside coils “froze over”.

  10. cookers52 permalink
    November 23, 2021 4:13 am

    The good news is that according to the consensus science we will soon not need heating any more, as the IPCC AR6 hockey stick illustrates that temperature is rising exponentially.

    So this will curtail CO2 emissions from our gas boilers, so there is no need to change the gas boilers as we won’t be using them any more.

    However the bad news is the consensus is b*llocks.

  11. November 23, 2021 6:57 am

    Upgrading a property to the EnerPHit standard, at which point heat pumps become effective, costs £800-£1,000 per square metre of floorspace. Windows (triple glazed) and doors are extra!

  12. Sobaken permalink
    November 23, 2021 7:08 am

    “The EUA is pushing hydrogen ready boilers as an alternative. But these are no better.”
    But they are much better, as a compromise solution. The greens get what they want, and ban conventional boiler sale. And the public get to keep using all the convenience of natural gas for heat.
    Of course there is some cost, as these boilers are probably somewhat more expensive (but nowhere near as expensive as heat pumps), and you would have to admix at least some hydrogen into gas supply to placate the hydrogen proponents. But since no large amounts of low-carbon hydrogen will ever be produced (whether by electrolysis or methane reformers with CCS), most of gas supply will remain natural gas. And by the time they realize this doesn’t actually reduce emissions by much, there might be other options available.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      November 23, 2021 12:17 pm

      The Hydrogen hype really is a huge joke. Here is an evaluation of the difficulties.
      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360319913006800
      Every time I meet a proponent of switching from CH4 to H2 I ask them questions like explain the Joule Thomson effect, the relevance of Ortho and Para ratios from electrolysis, the effect on linepack storage using H2, deflagration or diffusion combustion and NOx production, etc etc. Every time I get blank looks back. It seems proponents of green issues usually have not got a clue what they are talking about. Never mind, as you say, just pop a little bit of H2 in with the CH4 and they will be happy and run along!

  13. pdp1140 permalink
    November 23, 2021 7:21 am

    The bare minimum the government could do is to remove VAT from insulation and all “green” mumbo jumbo installation. This might encourage people minded to change their heating or upgrade insulation to have the work done.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 23, 2021 9:03 am

      But that would simply mean taxes going up elsewhere. Its a Merry-go-round, and we are all on it.

  14. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    November 23, 2021 7:45 am

    Much new housing development is taking place round here. Some for rent apparently and some for private sale.
    There is talk of ground sourced heat pumps. On a district scale.
    Has anyone any knowledge/experience of such systems ?

  15. 2hmp permalink
    November 23, 2021 8:41 am

    An online quote I obtained for a vertical heat pump including groundworks ,modified radiators and an immersion heater and hot water cylinder was over £35k.

  16. Harry Passfield permalink
    November 23, 2021 8:54 am

    When children are taught at school that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the solar system I bet they – and a lot of MPs – think you can just pluck it from the air or drill for it in the ground.

    • Douglas Dragonfly permalink
      November 23, 2021 9:54 am

      Thanks for the posts on ground source heat pumps. Individual and particularly district systems.
      The local council recently lost around £50 million on an energy provider scheme, disaster. Since then they have become more secretive.

    • dave permalink
      November 23, 2021 11:03 am

      “When children are taught at school that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the solar system…”

      That hydrogen is, indeed, abundant in the Universe was taught in my Chemistry class. But it was also explained to us that the inner planets do not have enough gravity to retain pure hydrogen. Which is why most of our hydrogen is tied up in water. We then immediately did some electolysis of water, which taught us that to get at that hydrogen you need a source of energy!

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        November 23, 2021 12:43 pm

        Dave,if you ever go onto a Guardian comments thread (I know it is a painful experience!) if there is a discussion on anything to do with hydrogen you can rest assured several posters will raise the issue of production by “HYDROLYSIS”. Yep I have come across literally dozens of “expert” (ho,ho,ho) posters who seem to think you can get hydrogen from water by adding more water.
        Here is a classic example of hundreds similar
        “AdorablePrimate
        ComputerSaysPerhaps
        3 Mar 2021 18:54

        Hydrogen is the most combustible of all the gases. Far more combustible, and safer than oil or gasoline, which is a slow burning fuel. It takes hydrolysis to create hydrogen, it is not in abundance on it’s own. You need far less hydrogen to produce the same amount of electricity, than a wind turbine ever could. You would need hundreds of turbines to produce as much power as a single hydrogen power plant.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/03/global-oil-companies-have-committed-to-net-zero-emissions-its-a-sham#comment-147834137

        It would seem the typical Guardian reader never enjoyed most people’s level of science education. Sad isn’t it?

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 23, 2021 1:27 pm

        Yes, hydrogen is more combustible – and more explosive too! For Flameproof enclosures for ExHaz areas hydrogen is used to obtain the peak explosion pressure in the enclosure for a follow up 1.5 times hydraulic pressure test.

      • dave permalink
        November 23, 2021 2:50 pm

        Me: “…electolysis…”

        Typo. Should be, “…electrolysis…”

        Guardian ignoramus:

        “…hydrolysis…”

        Not a typo, I opine.

        ‘Sad’ does not even begin to express the true awfulness of it all.

        The bit of the puzzle that is missing, even in the minds of many people with science training, is the forgotten fact from Chemistry 101 that it takes an input of energy to break existing chemical bonds. Thus, many expositions of General Biology will state that energy is stored [sic] in the bonds of the molecule ATP. As if breaking the bonds will release energy, like cracking a bone to extract the marrow! Forsooth!!

        I avoid the Guardian as just another ‘tar baby.’

        Brer Rabbit fought the tar baby despite being warned not to, and he got stuck.
        He was only released when he stopped being mad at it and decided to ignore it.

  17. M.Fraser permalink
    November 23, 2021 10:17 am

    What utter madness, my annual income is less than £15k, looks like I’ll freeze!
    Not sure our dopey Government can see at all,
    China, India and Russia don’t care yet we rely on them for industry and power.
    We will have zero ability to be an independent country and become a vassal state to a totalitarian regime.
    So much for Brexit and a brave new dawn, the ‘West’ is committing economic and industrial suicide based around computer projections produced by pseudo science.
    To quote my namesake ‘we’re doomed’, however, not because of a changing climate!

  18. mikewaite permalink
    November 23, 2021 10:52 am

    I assume that MPs , and their multiple properties will have their heat pumps installed free.Well, free for them, we the taxpayers will be forced to pay the bill.
    If local councils decide to refit their remaining housing stock similarly , will the bill end up with the council tax payers because those who live in council property tend not to be amongst the highest earners.

  19. Mikehig permalink
    November 24, 2021 10:55 am

    I heard something on the radio about a new requirement that all new homes must have EV charging facilities from next year.
    That got me wondering about the supporting infrastructure in view of this push to adopt heat pumps.
    Are the regulations being changed for things like the local cabling, main fuses, substations etc?
    Aiui, as well as the loads increasing greatly, the usage patterns will be very different.

    Take a scenario in one of these new family homes at breakfast time. The EV is busy warming itself up for the school run; the heat pump is clattering away at maximum; the power-shower is in continuous use; the immersion heater has kicked in. That’s all before the toaster/kettle/oven are fired up.
    Now repeat across the whole new estate……

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