Truss handed over blueprint to save UK money after £450m heat pump scheme destroyed | Science | New
Chancellor Liz Truss has been handed a plan to ‘save unnecessary expense’ after the government’s £450m scheme to accelerate the rollout of heat pumps was torn apart. It comes after the government was accused of diverting funds from areas with high levels of energy poverty to wealthier parts of the country amid an energy crisis that has seen bills soar for millions of Britons as wholesale gas prices continue to take a huge hit. -on the impact on bill payers as a cost of living crisis sends shockwaves across the country.
As Prime Minister Liz Truss unveils a number of costly plans, such as a freeze on energy bills set to cost over a hundred billion pounds, the Treasury will need all the funds it can get to avoid to borrow in other areas.
Mike Foster, CEO of the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), a non-profit trade organization, said Prime Minister’s Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng could start by scrapping the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) of £450 million.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Mr Foster said: “If the Chancellor is looking to save unnecessary spending, he might want to start with this scheme. Instead of 90,000 affluent consumers each receiving £5,000 in cash , he could insulate 850,000 lofts, evenly distributed throughout the territory.
The government has identified heat pumps as a low carbon alternative to gas boilers as it strives to replace carbon emitting heat suppliers to help achieve its net zero target by 2050 .
But one of the biggest hurdles affecting the pace of rollout was the staggering installation costs of boiler alternatives, on average costing households £10,000 to install them in their homes.
To solve this problem, BUS is offering grants of £5,000 to reduce installation costs and encourage people to buy heat pumps. However, analysis by the non-profit trade organization Energy and Utilities Alliance found that grants may not be allocated equally or fairly.
The EUA conducted its analysis by comparing the regional allocation of BUS funds made through the end of July with the number of properties in each region, revealing the apparent disparity in allocation.
The analysis also warns that the missing regions have some of the highest levels of energy poverty in the country, which would mean that taxpayers’ money is not going to those who need it most at such a crucial time.
EUA analysis claims London are set to be the biggest losers in the scheme, missing out on £46m, while the North West will lose £21m.
Meanwhile, the West Midlands would lose £15m and the North East would receive £6m less than the others.
The biggest winner, according to the EUA, will be the South West, getting £41m and the South East getting £16m more than if the money was split evenly across all parts of Great Britain. Brittany.
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Mr Foster added: “The energy price crisis has not gone away, despite recent support announced by the new Prime Minister. Whilst we welcome his intention, below the surface Whitehall is still spending the cash hard won taxpayers into programs that divert money from where it would do the most good.
“The Boiler Upgrade Scheme subsidizes people who frankly don’t need help with their bills. Giving the wealthy £5,000 in grants if they can afford to spend £13,000 on new heating systems Heating just seems perverse as millions of people will struggle to pay their bills this winter.
“The result is that some areas will lose tens of millions of pounds from the government trying to achieve an arbitrary target set by the former prime minister to subsidize new heating systems for a small minority, while the vast majority have struggling to pay bills.
“And paying 20,000 households over the next three years £5,000 a time to do something they would have done anyway, is the very definition of wasting taxpayers’ money. That money could be better spent on insulate homes in all parts of the country, permanently reducing both bills and carbon emissions.”
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But the EUA is not the only organization to have targeted the government’s deployment of heat pumps. A Cambridge Econometrics analysis, commissioned by environmental campaigners Greenpeace, has found Britain lags behind other countries, with some of the lowest settlement rates in Europe despite the offer of grants of £5,000.
Graham Thompson of Greenpeace UK said: “The Government’s targets for improving energy savings are woefully off track, with home insulation installations down 50% this year and heat pump sales per household in the UK the lowest in Europe in 2020”.
Meanwhile, a recent survey by the Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) found that the BUS program has seen demand for heat pumps increase.
According to the latest government figures, the BUS received 4,337 requests for vouchers between May 23 (date of its launch) and the end of July 2022.
The Commercial and Industrial Strategy Department has been contacted for comments.