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Who knows how a heatpump works?

New figures reveal the typical Briton’s lack of knowledge around energy efficiency issues in the home.

The research found that only 35 per cent understand how energy efficient heat pumps work, compared to 70 per cent of people who understand a gas boiler. 

Some 42 per cent of respondents don’t know what their home’s Energy Performance Certificate rating is, and 16 per cent had never heard of an EPC. 


Only 21 per cent know how much they could receive in grants for home heating, with lack of awareness about what is available highest in the North East of England (81 per cent) followed by East of England (75 per cent).

Almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of likely sellers have previously researched government grants for home heating improvements but were confused about their eligibility, and a similar figure (57 per cent) say they just don’t know how to make their home more energy efficient. 

Just over two-thirds (65 per cent) assume they are not eligible for government grants, with a similar figure (69 per cent) falsely believing grants for home heating improvements are only available for people with low incomes.

Robin Peters - chief executive of Snugg, which commissioned the survey - says: “Sellers’ lack of access to available information on home energy efficiency changes risks slowing an already spluttering property market - with home energy efficiency improvements known to increase value by up to £15,000. At the same time, homes in the UK rank amongst the worst in Europe for energy efficiency – responsible for more than a fifth of the UK’s CO2 emissions.

“It’s little wonder people are confused when current grant schemes are uncoordinated and the government’s ever-shifting position on net zero provides little certainty or clarity to homeowners. It’s vital that we ensure everyone has access to the knowledge needed for simple and affordable home changes that can both help boost the property market and accelerate our transition to net zero.”

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  • George Dawes

    It's like a one armed bandit except you actually get something useful out of those

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    Dawes, give it a rest mate.


    Take your own advice, Gibbons.

    George Dawes

    I am most certainly not your mate

  • icon

    That’s the misnomer, in the bulk of existing older houses they don’t work !

  • icon

    I know how heat pumps work having spent 30 years installing them worldwide in commercial and industrial premises and the domestic market in warmer countries. I know enough to declare that I would not have them in my home in the UK, never ever, although they work fine in my home in Cyprus when I can use them for their main purpose for cooling, then switch to heating in the winter with a much higher COP, (coefficcient of performance) than I would achieive in the UK, due to the warmer climate. Also has anyone realised yet how expensive these machines are to repair. If the compressor fails it may well be more economical to fit a new outdoor unit than to repair it.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Gibbons.... Read this and maybe ask a real world veteran of the industry what his thoughts are.... Might get educated.

  • John  Adams

    Basically a Fridge in reverse. The question is how many of our Politicians know that they are not going to solve any of our problems because they still need electricity to power them and aside from the immense cost to install them in the majority of pre-war housing, where is all this leccie' coming from? Nuclear Power stations take decades, wind is fantastic when it's windy and looking at my solar panels today I'm producing a stonking 40w... Can't wait until one dull snowing week iced up turbines and covered solar panels to see what happens when everyone plugs in their Fischer Price Electric Cars, Turns up the Electric Heat Pump and puts a brew on whilst watching the big match on telly.... burn baby burn, that good ol' time National Grid she gonna burn hotter than Hell in that ol' time religion. Hallelujah and Praise the Stupidity of the Greenies.

  • Peter England

    A Heatpump at home currently has very little impact on the EPC calculation, and should only be installed for new build or property’s that have good insulation in the roof and walls. Grants are available this year for both insulation and heating systems but are subject to earnings and council tax bandings. Does the heatpump save you money compared to your gas boiler? (Not at the Moment) It might save you money compared to your Oil burner! Until we install more renewable energy (wind/solar/tidal/wave) the cost of electricity won’t come down. So my guess it’s not worth installing a heatpump in an existing property until 2035, unless you have your own Solar PV and your insulation is up to scratch!

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Gibbo.... Another sound bit of advice from someone who is clearly operating in the industry. Also one I am taking, not fitting anything unless I am required to do so and 2035 will be pushed back too.


    You should also be aware that an EPC inspection downgrades the property score as it is a switch from gas to electricity. THe EPC takes no account of the fact that you have installed a heat pump. It runs on electricity therefore automatic downgrade. Left hand right hand government policies strike again.

  • Matthew Payne

    Everyone is trying to make a quick buck out of heat pumps whilst this post natural gas, pre hydrogen/electric state of limbo exists for the next few years. I have seen internal correspondance from a major energy supplier only yesterday from a contact detailing their campaign to make hay before they go in the bin along with their scruples. Everyone that knows, knows that heat pumps are not the future of the UKs heating supply for a whole load of reasons we have all discussed many times over.

    Unfortunately, we have another 5 years or so of people trying to convince us they are, a bit like the Monty Python dead parrot sketch.

    "Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now."

    "No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!"


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