There are mixed views within the industry in response to the Spring Budget.
Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Services at Worcester Bosch, said “We welcome the Chancellor’s three-month extension of the £2,500 price cap to reduce financial pressures on UK households.
However, this is only a temporary measure. We were hoping to see a national grant scheme encouraging homeowners to insulate their properties and increase energy efficiency. A solution that would reduce energy usage and costs for the long-term.
But given cost-of-living, homeowners will generally struggle to consider property improvements. This could also have a knock-on effect on our road to decarbonised home heating, as more efficient homes are suited for low carbon technology. We hope to see further commitment and measures from Government in supporting homeowners in increasing their EPC Ratings in the near future.”
Trevor Harvey, CEO of Stelrad Group plc, commented “The Chancellor’s U-turn on energy bill support will come as a welcome relief to people struggling with their heating bills but it was a shame that there was nothing beyond this. There was a real opportunity in this Budget to help people heat their homes more effectively for the long term but it’s been passed up in favour of a short term sticking plaster. The Government should be incentivising homeowners when it comes to practical measures such as insulating their homes more effectively and installing more modern and efficient radiators. Short term price guarantees, alongside encouraging the mass adoption of heat pumps which aren’t even suitable for the vast majority of homes, isn’t really a coherent strategy that will help the country reduce its heating bills. When you layer in the fact that heating in UK homes produces around 17% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, it’s clear we need a more effective plan to help the country’s houses become both more efficient and less carbon intensive.”
Henk Van den Berg, Corporate Department Manager at Daikin UK, said “Yet again this budget has ignored the clear case for shifting the Climate Change Levy’s focus away from electricity to gas, leaving low-carbon heating out in the cold. A heat pump will typically save 5-10% in annual running costs compared to a gas boiler, but the prospect of further savings is being strangled by what’s basically an outdated tax on the electricity that powers them.
If heat pumps are to become mainstream and support the UK’s net zero ambition, more needs to be done to prevent us from falling behind other countries in the global green race. While financial support from the government is still in place, the benefits of heat pumps versus fossil fuel systems need to be properly communicated to encourage better uptake of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, bringing forward a ban on installing gas boilers in new homes, and clearer training support for installers.”