An average house, with standard insulation, average energy use and a gas boiler will use £5,700 of foreign gas by 2025. Of this amount, £140 will be paid directly to Qatar alone. However, a similar home with a heat pump, improved insulation and solar panels could spend just £10 a year on gas by 2035. But only in the rollout of renewables across the UK speeds up.
Dr Simon Cran-McGreehin, head of analysis at ECIU, has stated “Those arguing against heat pumps are arguing for UK to homes to be more dependent on foreign gas”.
The ECIU has recommended an ambitious push to deploy insluation, heat pumps and British renewables. It says this could reduce demand for gas heating, potentially cutting UK gas imports by 55% by 2035.
The Energy Savings Trust indicates that an averaged sized, three bedroom, semi-detached home running on an old G rated gas boiler could save £780 a year by installing a heat pump in England, Wales and Scotland, and up to £1,400 in Northern Ireland.
Although heat pumps are more expensive to install than gas boilers there are government subsidies available. The Boiler Upgrade scheme gives you a one off grant of up to £5,000 towards to the cost of installation. The Energy Company Obligation can also subsidise the cost of energy efficiency improvements to houses. It especially targets households who struggle with the cost of their energy bills or who live in homes with especially low energy efficiency.