BANNING gas boilers and replacing them with heat pumps is central to the Government’s Net Zero strategy, with residential use accounting for more than a third of UK gas consumption.
The Government has targeted 600,000 installations a year by 2028, but very few people want to buy one, despite subsidies of £5,000 on offer. So far only about a quarter of a million homes have one.
The reasons for the lack of interest are well known – heat pumps are massively expensive to install and are not as effective as a gas boiler in heating a home.
The Daily Mail has just carried out a survey of homeowners who already have one, and the response makes grim reading for the Government. Most responders said that they were more expensive to run than their gas boilers, failed to provide enough heat in cold weather, were noisy, unreliable and the outside fan unit tended to ice up.
As one woman put it, ‘I don’t like tepid baths or showers, and I prefer being kept warm when a gale is blowing outside.’ She bought a new-build with a heat pump seven years ago, and threw it out after four years. Others have been forced to install back-up heaters.
Some believe the Government is now in danger of committing a mis-selling scandal to match that of the promotion of diesel cars in the early 2000s by the Labour government, even though diesel fuel was known to contain pollutants harmful to health.
It is likely that most people will install conventional electrical resistance heaters if gas is banned. However, because these are less energy-efficient than heat pumps, the load on the electricity grid in winter will be even greater, certainly well beyond the grid’s ability to cope.
Meanwhile the BBC has been caught out lying again, this time about the cost of running heat pumps. In an article in October 2021, ‘Six things the UK could do to tackle climate change’, the BBC ran a puff piece on heat pumps which claimed that ‘they are much cheaper to run’ than a gas boiler. The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit has finally admitted that this was incorrect, and amended the article to read ‘They can have comparable running costs to a conventional gas heating system’. Unfortunately the readers who were badly misled by the original article are unlikely to read the correction.
Quite why it took the ECU sixteen months to make their ruling on such a black and white case is a mystery. But it highlights once again that, when it comes to climate change and Net Zero, the BBC’s reporters think it is OK to make up their own ‘facts’ as they go along.
Andrew Neil exposes Labour’s net zero madness
JON Ashworth, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, had a car crash of an interview with Andrew Neil on Channel 4 last weekend.
Ashworth is not the brightest bulb in the box, and floundered when asked about Labour’s plans to generate all our electricity with zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Neil asked the very simple question as to what would happen when the wind was not blowing and the sun was not shining. Ashworth replied: ‘We can do much more with renewables, with wind, with solar.’
When Neil reminded him that it does not matter how much generating power you have if the wind is not blowing, Ashworth rambled on about how we would be investing in the industries of the future.
Pressed again on what would happen when the wind was not blowing, Ashworth became flustered, petulantly replying that: ‘People can judge us after five years. We’re talking about where we may be after four or five years of a Labour government.’
God help us all!
The interview can be seen here.
Met Office rainfall study ‘grossly misleading’
THE Met Office has been roundly criticised for its latest study on extreme rainfall in the UK, which claims that extreme rainfall events could be four times as frequent by 2080 compared with the 1980s.
The computer modelled projections are based on an emissions scenario called RCP8.5, which assumes worst case emissions. RCP8.5 however is widely regarded as implausible, given that global emissions data and technological advances essentially rule it out.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation has called on the Met Office to ‘withdraw this grossly misleading and baseless study which is undermining its scientific credibility and integrity and makes it look incompetent’. One American expert in the field even accused the Met Office of peddling misinformation.
As with most studies of this sort, there is no attempt to provide any empirical data to support the computer models. After all, if the effect on extreme rainfall of a warmer climate was so great, it would be readily evident in observations. And it is not:
The most comprehensive analysis of UK floods, ‘Trends in reported flooding in the UK: 1884–2013’ by Stevens et al, also showed that the number of floods, and particularly serious ones, has been trending downwards since the 1960s:
UK Flooding Normalised by Number of Dwellings
Note how bad flooding was in the 1910s to 30s, and later in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, something which is apparent when watching the British Pathe news films of the times. Another recent study into flash floods by David Archer, one of the country’s leading hydrologists, came to the same conclusion.
The Met Office study specifically refers to short-term intense rainfall, that is over the space of a few hours. But, as if to sum up how far it was detached from reality, the Met Office used as an example ‘an intense rainfall event in London in July 2021, when 40mm of rain fell over three hours at Kew Gardens, flooding the Underground and other infrastructure’.
In reality, such amounts of rainfall are not uncommon, even though it sounds a lot, as their own records show. Maidenhead, for instance, had twice as much rainfall in an hour in 1901, and Hampstead received four times as much in 155 minutes in 1975.
Sadly the Met Office is now so committed to its political climate agenda that facts are irrelevant and propaganda is all important.