Well, it’s game on.

3rd Jun 2024

 

The teams are assembled; the path to victory is being plotted by analysts; flags and banners printed. It promises to be some summer.

The teams are assembled; the path to victory is being plotted by analysts; flags and banners printed. It promises to be some summer. I can’t wait for the Euros to start. Meanwhile, we have a general election.

And at this point, can I remind readers that a certain person accurately made the prediction the election would be held before the summer holidays. In my pocket is also an envelope with my predicted outcome too. Before the results are declared, in fact as Parliament was closing down ahead of the campaigning, reports came flooding out of Westminster – one caught my eye, from the Public Accounts Committee.

The PAC is probably the most senior and important of all the Parliamentary Select Committees, so their findings are an important part of the evidence used by Parliamentarians when voting on issues. Their scrutiny of government departments gives Ministers and officials headaches. They count.

So when they concluded that heat pumps are too expensive for consumers; they cost more to run that a gas boiler; that the 600,000 target by 2028 is too ambitious for the progress made to date; the PAC are unconvinced about the plans to meet the workforce targets; there are no plans for homes where heat pumps are not suitable and the indecision around hydrogen is creating uncertainty for investors – you may have heard this all before, indeed I suspect many will agree wholeheartedly with the PAC.

When hearing evidence for their report from the most senior officials in DESNZ they heard them confirm that heat pump costs more to run than a gas boiler does. Now this doesn’t make them anti-heat pump, far from it, it is realistic assessment of the situation consumers face. Our work backs this up. Strictly on financial grounds, putting to one side the carbon savings, it is economically irrational to swap a gas boiler for a heat pump. There might be other reasons for doing so, but consumer economics is not one. Again, this is not anti-heat pump, just what the numbers show. Heat pumps in new builds, or to replace direct electric heating will offer different outcomes. Politicians seeking our votes should reflect on this.