LBC Views: 5K boiler grant sounds great but won’t help families with their energy bills

19 October 2021, 15:59 | Updated: 19 October 2021, 16:30

LBC Views: 5K boiler grant sounds great but won’t help families with their energy bills
LBC Views: 5K boiler grant sounds great but won’t help families with their energy bills. Picture: LBC
Dean Dunham

By Dean Dunham

Lawyer and LBC host Dean Dunham outlines how the government's scheme to replace old gas boilers misses the mark.

On the face of it the news that households will be offered grants of £5,000 to replace their gas boiler with a low carbon heat pump in a bid to cut emissions sounds like positive news, both for the environment and consumer.

However, the rhetoric and reality of this scheme are miles apart and when you dig deeper you soon realise that only the wealthy will benefit, and this benefit will not be today, but in years to come.

There are three fundamental problems with the scheme:

  • The first is the cost, a £5k grant sounds like a great deal of money but this must be measured against the overall cost of the carbon heat pump, which can be as much as £18,000. Wealthy families may well be able to afford to pay £13,000 in addition to the grant, but the average family will not.
  • The second issue is the technology itself; this is still relatively new, and we have no solid data or history to show how well it will actually work.
  • Thirdly, many experts say that a carbon heat pump boiler provides less heat than its counterpart and would save you just 30p/kWhth from a traditional gas boiler.

It may sound trendy to have the latest carbon heat pump boiler and it may be environmentally friendly, but it certainly isn’t a scheme designed to assist those families who really need help with increasing energy bills.