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Electricity costs too high to make heat pumps worthwhile, MPs warn

The Daily Telegraph

Electricity is too expensive to make heat pumps worthwhile, MPs have warned, as they urged the government to rethink environmental costs passed onto customers.

The high cost of electricity compared to gas risk putting people off ditching their gas boiler for the cleaner alternative, which runs on electricity, the Environmental Audit Committee said.

In a letter to Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng, Philip Dunne, chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, said high electricity bills are a “significant barrier to heat pump adoption”.

Electricity is around four times more expensive than gas because of costs passed onto the consumer from environmental programmes and social measures such as the Warm Homes Discount, which gives some households cheaper energy bills. These extra costs are not added to gas bills.

Figures from Ofgem show that environmental and social costs make up 23 per cent of the average electricity bill and just two per cent of the average gas bill.

Last month the committee heard calls from some witnesses to add carbon taxes to gas in order to incentivise switching.ADVERTISING

MCS, which certifies installers of renewable energy, said the government should price out gas and oil from the market by adding a carbon tax to fossil fuels used for heating. 

Emma Pinchbeck, the chief executive of trade association Energy UK, said that “all the price signals in the market point to a gas boiler as being the most sensible technology to install.”

Full story (£)

see also Cost of Decarbonising Housing