Homes 'must change heating methods'

13 Jan 2012

Households must drastically alter the way they heat their homes if the UK is to cut carbon emissions without the burden of massive costs, engineering experts have claimed.

Heating in domestic properties creates about 25% of the UK's carbon output, the Royal Academy of Engineering said, and the country would fail to hit the 80% carbon reduction target by 2050 if people kept using gas boilers to heat their homes.

Installing a heat pump, which works in the opposite way to a fridge by producing heat from its surroundings, would be unaffordable, as would the cost of people becoming increasingly reliant on renewable-source electricity for heating.

But heat pumps cannot be simply installed by a plumber, the academy warned.

Its report included a story about a household who had a ground source heat pump and solar thermal water panels installed incorrectly, and who then had to pay £250 a month for electricity instead of their usual £30 per month.

Experts should lead whole-home upgrades, the academy said, to make sure the best technologies and insulation are installed in the right way, that they meet the needs of those who live there and are given backing from local and national strategies to tackle carbon emissions from heating.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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