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Energy crisis: Plan to replace gas boilers with heat pumps could cost Britons £115bn

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In an effort to combat the shocks created by the global energy crisis, the Government has unveiled a host of measures to reduce the country’s dependency on fuel, particularly imported energy from Russia. Alongside the Prime Minister’s Energy Security to make Britain self-reliant with its energy, the UK will also roll out a scheme to replace millions of gas boilers in heat pumps.

Heat pumps are more energy-efficient than traditional boilers, which will help bring the household bills down in the long term, and will also be able to carry hydrogen gas when the technology surrounding them is ready to replace fossil fuel-based natural gas.

However, a new report has warned that the Government’s plan to replace these boilers in households will cost the UK taxpayer £115billion, even as the cost of living crisis bites.

This scheme will help households replace the gas boilers by providing subsidies for air source heat pumps, which costs £10,500 on average.

Under this plan, households that are sufficiently insulated will receive a £5,000 grant, which leaves them with a bill of £4,975, after the Chancellor scrapped the five percent VAT on heat pumps.

While the new heat pumps will increase energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and ultimately bring down household bills, their high upfront costs make them prohibitively expensive for many Britons.

The Government has set aside £450million to be spent on this Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which means that only 90,000 households will be able to benefit from the subsidy.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance, a campaign group, has warned that extending the current scheme to all UK households would cost the Government a staggering £115billion.

This comes as an analysis from the environmental think tank the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) found last week that the high gas prices have now made heat pumps cheaper to operate than gas boilers.

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According to their figures, a new gas boiler would cost an average of £2,700 to install and a further £984 to run for a year, meanwhile, an energy-efficient heat pump can cost about £723 in operating costs, saving £261.

When the costs of installing both appliances are factored in, the think tank estimated that the heat pump is already cheaper by £412 over the course of a decade, as air source heat pumps have an estimated lifespan of 20-25 years, about a decade more than gas boilers.

Craig Mackinlay, Conservative MP for South Thanet, criticised the plan to subsidise heat pumps, telling the Telegraph: “Spending billions on a technology that clearly isn’t ready is not the right focus for the Government.

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