Worried about your energy bills and the growing
energy insecurity around the globe?
Heat pumps present themselves as a great solution to the current economic and political
environment. Not only do air source heat pumps provide an alternative to general gas boilers
which are more damaging to the environment and the climate, they also ensure greater energy
Research has shown that the UK can eliminate its need for gas from other countries significantly through an investment into renewable power(E3G ThinkTank). Such an outcome can be achieved through a combination of energy efficiency, expanding renewable power generation and a campaign to help people understand how their behaviour affects their energy consumption.
When it comes to climate action, heat pumps are often overlooked, relative to their more ‘glamourous’ renewable and sustainable counterparts such as electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels. The growing instability in energy security for the entire globe, especially for Europe - alternatives to heating our homes are important. Heat pumps have become a crucial tool to cut dependency on other external sources and are especially more productive than asking people to turn their thermostat down. While building more infrastructure to import natural gas from abroad is a solution, installing heat pumps can simultaneously help Europe’s progress on climate goals.
Heat pumps use electricity instead of gas and they’re extremely efficient. Conventional electric heating systems draw a lot of power from the grid. They don’t generate heat, it just moves it around. Using the same principles as a refrigerator or an air conditioner, by running backwards, with cold liquid refrigerant picking up heat energy from outside air, changing phase to gas then releasing that energy inside and condensing back to liquid. Heat pumps are 300% - 500% more efficient than gas boilers and use half the energy of a gas boiler too(even if the electric it uses come from a gas power plant). This makes heat pumps an attractive option in our fight to eliminate the dangers of climate change and for further energy security in Europe.
With efforts to increase the number of installations by the UK government, there is currently a
supply and demand issue, with not enough heat pumps being produced to fulfil the demand
adequately. Add the semiconductor shortage to the mix and this further limits the output. With
only approximately 3000 installers present in the entire UK - there needs to be sufficient training
and courses to increase the number of installers to meet demands in the coming few years.
Many analysts say the new plans in Europe are a step in the right direction when it comes to helping the climate and alleviating the effects of energy insecurity. This is further aided by the maturity of the heat pump and energy efficient market in the past few years. There are further plans to incentivise other efficient measures, such as insulating homes and reducing dependency on Russian gas. This pains a picture in which heat pumps and other green energy tech can provide much needed relief in terms of bills and the carbon goals set by the UK and Europe as a whole.