PropTech investment platform Houzen has raised concerns over the government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy.
This is the satrategy that offers rental sector investors and owner occupiers up to £5,000 to replace gas boilers with heat pumps, and prohibits gas boilers from new build homes from 2035.
Houzen environmental analyst Eashita Saxena says: “While it’s good that the government is trying to tackle the issue of heat and buildings, the strategy feels rather thin in a number of respects. The heat pump targets, for example, fall short of the huge-scale changes we need to enact in order to reduce the impact of our homes on the environment.”
According to the All-party Parliamentary Climate Change Committee, around 14 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions come from heating in the home.
There are 30m homes in the UK, yet the country is currently installing heat pumps at a rate of just around 36,000 homes per year.
The cost of installing a heat pump ranges from £8,000 to £14,000 and - according to the Energy and Utilities Alliance - 54 per cent of people can’t afford that figure, while 26 per cent would pay it only with financial support.
Saxena says the limitation of the government’s £5,000 proposal is that it can support the installation of merely 90,000 heat pumps in the next three years.
“Not only is the heat pump target woefully inadequate, there’s also a serious risk that the execution of the grants will lead to low take-up of the incentive” she continues.
“The collapse of the Green Homes Grant [earlier this year] shows just how much damage a poorly executed scheme can do. The goal was to fund renovations for 600,000 homes, but by February 2021 just 5,800 installations had been completed. The administration of the new incentive scheme will need to be a lot better if it’s going to make any kind of a difference.”