On the back of the record energy price cap rise Kensa Group, the manufacturer of ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) is calling on the government to level out the current bias in levies causing electricity to be four times as expensive as gas.
The high price of electricity is due, in part, to the policy of previous governments who loaded electricity prices to pay for subsidies for renewable technologies. The average cost of a kWh of gas in the UK is currently around 3.8p. For electricity, it is about 16.3p. After the price cap rise, this is will be 7p for gas and 28p for electricity – four times as much.
Kensa believes addressing this distortion will ensure that homeowners installing low carbon heat pumps can feel the financial benefits of the technology’s exceptional efficiencies at a time when people are looking to make as many savings as possible on their heating bills.
In addition, for those facing fuel poverty, extortionate increases in the energy price cap make replacing inefficient and costly heating systems, such as direct electricity in tower blocks, with ground source heating solutions all the more crucial. If levies were proportioned equally, this renewable technology could save even more money for the people that need it the most.
Kensa is calling for these environmental levies to be levelled out by properly proportioning them against carbon emissions. As electrically driven appliances with no combustion, GSHPs are proven to have the lowest carbon emissions of all heating technologies, delivering 77% saving on emissions versus gas, per unit of heat delivered. They also do not emit any point-of-use emissions of harmful air pollution.
As GSHPs harness free, naturally replenished energy from ground (or water) sources, they can deliver 3 to 4kW of renewable energy for every 1kW of electrical power consumed. A system that delivers much more electrical energy than it consumes should deliver lower running costs for a household. Ground source heat pumps can reduce a property’s heating costs by around two-thirds compared to direct electric heaters, for example.
Guy Cashmore, technical director for Kensa, said: “The government has put heavy levies on electricity however, this is at odds with their aims to decarbonise homes and buildings through the electrification of heat. It also causes people to lose out on a percentage of the running cost savings that could be gained from installing GSHPs – the most carbon-efficient heating technology available.
“Policymakers have recognised this is wrong but, as yet, nothing has been done to correct this distortion. Now is the time to act to protect those who have already made environmentally friendly electric heating choices, and encourage more people to make the switch from fossil fuels. Surely it’s time for UK energy policy to follow the science.”
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