A question mark has been raised over the suitability of a scheme starting next month to encourage the switch from gas boilers to carbon-neutral heat pumps.
£5,000 is being offered to existing homeowners to encourage the switch, as part of the government's target for all new heating system installations to be low carbon by 2035.
Switching to low carbon heating in the coming years will cut emissions, and reduce the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels and exposure to global price spikes in gas, ministers say, as well as supporting up to 240,000 jobs across the UK in the next decade.
But specialist mortgage lender Together has questioned whether the grants are enough, as replacing the gas boiler and other insulation can cost up to £18,000 with highest charges falling predominantly on owners of pre-1900 or listed properties.
Together data shows that only one in five want to install a heat pump anyway, and the lender’s distribution director Scott Clay says:“With April just around the corner the grant, though small, will be welcomed at a time when households are facing rising energy amid the cost of living crisis.
“However, many will still have a hefty set of expenses on their hands as the cost of retrofitting older homes and installing insulation is largely underestimated.”
His company’s survey shows that the average pre-1900 homeowner would only be willing to spend £5,480 to implement enough eco-changes to make a difference.
Clay adds: “It is important that homeowners have a clear understanding of their home’s energy efficiency rating now and start deciding how they can implement eco-changes over time that work within their budget.”
Other data from the lender shows that 30 per cent of owners are willing to decrease their electric and energy usage, 28 per cent would consider implementing loft insulation and 27 per cent would investigate draught proofing windows and doors to better insulate homes.
Meanwhile a quarter would opt for secondary or double-glazing windows and panels, or even the installation of solar panels.