Politician driving UK’s switch to heat pumps is still using gas to heat own home | Politics | News

January 28, 2024
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Lord Callanan heads Government plans to encourage Britons to use the greener alternative.

But the Tory peer has admitted that he has yet to convert his household from a fossil-fuelled system.

However, the Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance insists the net zero initiative is working despite critics saying it’s too costly.

Lord Callanan declares there has “never been a better time to make the switch” to heat pumps – which can cost up to £18,000 – due to the offer of £7,500 incentive grants.

He made his personal admission at a roundtable Q&A event attended by some 30 industry leaders whose companies are members of the Construction Products Association and Enterprise Forum.

Detractors are also questioning the speed and efficacy of the rollout.

Senior Conservative MP Sir John Redwood said: “Few people can afford a heat pump.

“I reckon most ministers and shadow ministers who recommend them to others do not have one themselves.”

Lord Callanan’s comments on the take-up of heat pumps are also at odds with industry chiefs who say the pace is slowing down and question whether £7,500 to encourage people to switch is value for money.

Mike Foster, who represents gas and boiler companies, claimed the upgrade scheme, was failing to meet its obligations. The CEO of the trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance told the Express: “Serious questions have got to be asked of a scheme that failed to hit its target last year.

“And, despite increasing the subsidy, will fail again this year. It takes a special talent, perhaps unique in Whitehall, to miss targets for giving away our cash.” He added: “We need to decarbonise homes. We want to get to net zero but in a just way. Giving a cash bung of £7,500 to those who can afford to add a further £6,000 themselves just to replace their ageing boilers with a heat pump is not what I call a ‘just transition’.”

But the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero said more people are taking advantage of the grants which were increased from £5,000.

It says official figures show that applications have risen by almost 50% compared to last year.

Lord Callanan said: “These show more people want the cleaner heating and more stable bills you get with a heat pump.”

Grants for heat pumps rose to £7,500 last October, making them one of the most generous schemes in Europe, said Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho.



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