In a stunning intervention, a major heat pump supplier has attacked Scottish Government plans to use them to replace gas boilers in Scotland, warning they don’t work well enough in the cold. The Telegraph has the story.
Lord Willie Haughey, the business tycoon, said the heating system is unsuitable for the Scottish climate as its performance declines markedly in freezing weather.
The Labour peer said some units can stop working properly at temperatures of -5°C (23°F), or require more electricity to function properly, resulting in higher bills.
Parts of Scotland hit –15°C last winter and the country holds the record for the U.K.’s lowest temperature of –27.2°C seen in Braemar in Aberdeenshire in 1982 and Altnaharra in Sutherland in 1995.
The multi-millionaire, who owns a heat pump company, also warned they were noisy and only heated water to 54°C (129.2°F) – less than the 60°C recommended by the Health and Safety Executive to kill the legionella bacteria.
His intervention came after Patrick Harvie, a Scottish Green minister, last week unveiled plans for homes to receive lower environmental ratings if they are heated using gas boilers.
From 2025, homes will need to achieve an EPC rating of C or above at certain trigger points, including a sale, meaning some properties with boilers will be barred from being put on the market.
A strategy published by ministers in 2021 said that the average cost of installing a heat pump is around £10,000, four times the £2,500 cost of a new fossil fuel boiler. Lord Haughey said the cost was now £15,000.
Air source heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air while ground source pumps are powered by cables buried quite deep in the earth next to the house.
The pump then uses electricity to amplify that energy into heat for the home. They were originally developed as air conditioning systems.
Lord Haughey, who made his millions through a global refrigeration business, said: “I have a heat pump company and following Patrick Harvie’s announcement, I should really be jumping for joy. But the truth of the matter is that heat pumps don’t work as efficiently in Scotland as they do in other countries.”
Is this the heat pump industry’s Gerald Ratner moment?
Worth reading in full.