Boilers will be replaced by heat pumps but it’s a marathon, not a sprint

The entire developed world is making the switch but there is a huge argument for doing so in a measured, step-by-step manner, writes Hamish McRae

Tuesday 19 October 2021 16:56
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<p>Heat pumps are an excellent and established technology although they need space</p>

Heat pumps are an excellent and established technology although they need space

If Bill Gates and Boris Johnson agree on something it must be a good idea – or perhaps not, depending on your assessment of those two gentlemen. But does that mean we should all be buying electric cars or ditching the gas boiler for a heat pump?

The £400m partnership to boost green investment is straightforward enough, though that amount is not large in the context of either Bill Gates’s wealth of close to £100bn, or the UK government’s budget deficit. The plan to give householders grants of up to £5,000 to put in heat pumps is more complicated.

Climate change campaigners feel this programme does not go far enough, as the costs of installation range from £6,000 to £8,000 for air source pumps to £10,000 to £18,000 for ground source ones. But the issue is not only one of cost, it’s also of practicalities.

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