Popular YouTuber and building expert Roger Bisby has warned landlords and homeowners that plans to ditch gas boilers for heat pumps are a “car crash coming in slow motion”.
The government hopes to fit 5.5 million heat pumps in UK homes by 2030 with the aim of phasing out all gas boilers by 2035, while landlords tasked with raising the energy efficiency rating of all their properties to at least band C by 2028 are being encouraged to consider green alternatives.
However, Bisby tells the 200,000 people on the Skill Builder channel who watched his video so far that after getting a £4,000 government grant for a heat pump, you’d have to spend £16,000 to make it work.
He also reckons that running a heat pump is roughly three times more expensive than running a gas boiler. “After a couple of years of having one, people see their house isn’t warm – you’re paying three times as much for your fuel bills,” he says.
“They might work in lovely houses that are beautifully insulated and draft-proof but they don’t work well enough in our housing stock.”
Bisby explains that a heat pump is like a fridge in reverse: a big box is hung on the wall with a fan inside that sucks in hot air which it sends into the house in a couple of pipes.
A buffer tank is used to distribute heat into the house and produce hot water. “I’ve put them on a patio and people say their neighbours complain about the noise of the fan,” he says.
Nottingham landlord Tricia Urquhart tells LandlordZONE that heat pumps are not a financially viable solution for most people. She says: “On an electricity-only estate where I own a BTL, houses have storage heaters, electric radiators and one has a heat pump – yet every EPC (bar one with storage heaters due to expire shortly) is a D or E, so even if you fit the government’s preferred electric heat source, the property would still be un-lettable under the EPC C proposals about to be put before Parliament.”