Heat pumps: homeowners are looking to make the switch to save money and carbon

Half of British homeowners considering heat pumps as they look to save money and carbon, as a new report by EDF found that 49% of average earners are considering making the switch.

With the mean average salary £39,966 for full-time employees, EDF surveyed 2,000 homeowners across the UK with a total household income of £40,000 or more.

The study found the most influential factor in people deciding to switch is the potential to save money on energy bills (25%). This was followed by reducing their carbon footprint (17%) and a recognition that heat pumps are more efficient than gas boilers (16%).

EDF managing director for customers Philippe Commaret said “it’s great to see more people considering heat pumps and a move away from inefficient, fossil fuel heating.”

He highlights however that many barriers still remain as “many people remain worried about the climate crisis, people are struggling to find the headspace, time and money to make it a priority.”

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The report found 54% said they would be likely make the switch within the next two years if possible and more than three-quarters (79%) would consider it within the next five years.

While many people say they are hoping to install a pump, just under half (45%) say the initial cost of installation is main deterrent.

Nevertheless, 88% acknowledge the monetary savings that can be made from switching to a heat pump and admit this would be the most important factor in their decision to make the transition from a traditional gas boiler. This is followed by ensuring professional installation (86%) and safety (84%).

Misconceptions around heat pumps

EDF’s research found that 76% are unaware that heating is the greatest contributor to their household’s carbon footprint.

A quarter (23%) said they do not know how the heating system works, with the media (31%) and word-of-mouth (25%) from family or friends being the main sources that inform their opinions. Social media (23%) comes ahead of heating experts (17%) as a source of information on heat pumps.

Only half (52%) have knowledge of government grants available to help with the cost of installation.

The EDF research found the most popular misconception was around noise, with nearly a third (28%) believing the pumps generate excessive noise.

The research also highlights a fifth (20%) of people think the pumps are ineffective during winter. This is despite air-source heat pumps operating effectively in sub-zero temperatures and being 300% more efficient than gas boilers. 73% of those with traditional heating systems are unaware that heat pumps can work alongside a traditional gas boiler.

EDF says such misconceptions and lack of knowledge surrounding heat pumps are slowing the transition to lower carbon heating solutions and potentially costing households money.

EnergyNewsReports and data

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