Are heat pumps worth it? BBC News article uncovers affordability challenges for off-grid homes

Friday 20th October 2023

National news coverage highlights the financial and practical challenges faced by off-grid residents over the government's heat pump initiative.

A recent BBC News article by Tim Dodd (19th October 2023) outlines the impractical and costly transition to electrified heating for older properties.

Heat pumps are unaffordable despite new grant, say villagers - BBC News

The coverage resonates with Liquid Gas UK's long-standing position on the need for a mixed technology approach to decarbonise off-grid properties, underscoring the need for a range of practical heating solutions to reach rural net zero.

Liquid Gas UK are keen to add renewable liquid gases (RLGs) to the debate.

RLGs, which were recently recognised in the government’s Biomass Strategy, are readily available as a low carbon, drop-in solution for off-grid homeowners to decarbonise when heat pumps are not viable.

The LPG industry is committed to being 100% renewable by 2040 with £600m forecast investment over the next two years for the domestic production and rapid deployment of RLGs.

Liquid Gas UK architype research supports findings in the article which state that heat pump installation, including essential retrofitting for older hard-to-treat, hard-to-heat off-grid homes, can cost over £30,000.

Our rural polling data revealed 69% of off-grid households are unable to afford such costs.

Commentary from homeowners within the article spells out the realities around the expense of switching, despite recent policy changes to increase financial support for heat pumps via the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNEZ) still appear committed to the  600,000 heat pumps per year target by 2028, despite the Heat Pump Association’s CEO, Charotte Lee, saying the increased Boiler Upgrade Scheme budget isn’t enough to fulfil this ambition.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent off-grid boiler ban delay until 2035 is welcome, but questions remain, for example: what government criteria deems certain properties to be exempt for heat pumps?

Read the BBC News article in full: Heat pumps are unaffordable despite new grant, say villagers - BBC News


The trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK