Prime Minister Net Zero Announcement

Hi all, any thoughts on todays announcement relating to net zero?
One thing I had noted as a positive was the inrease in heat pump grants to £7500. The rest seems negative to me.

If the government policy was a carrot and stick approach, Rishi just took away all the sticks and left a carrot. Clearly thinking of the ballot box and not the consequences of climate change.

Unfortunately it is the nature of democratic government that parties have a planning time frame that stops at the next election, they might start out with longer term plans but as the election approaches they get dropped.
The government’s own climate change advisors have come out against the changes.

I think waiting for the government to help in good time is an unrealistic expectation .
I just feel we can all help and have a duty to do without certain things which aren’t necessary to our comfort.
We don’t have to be mathematicians to work out how the embodied carbon and toxins produced in manufacture and to create all this new infrastructure is just as damaging to our planet and habitats. Where are all the materials needed for all this new technology coming from and at what cost to our planet?
I’d support any initiative to get us out of cars , using public transport, cycling and walking…. Healthier for us , healthier for the planet.

Profit over planet continues to reign.

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I’m sure there are many on this forum that would agree but unfortunately we are not the majority.

It is a sad truth. And even more disturbing because so many are so far removed from nature, that they simply cannot comprehend what need is and would struggle to detach from the trappings of the modern world.
Despite this realisation, there is always hope and for the love of this beautiful planet, I will continue to do everything I can in consideration of the health of our natural world.

I suspect that the majority now know that there is a problem but not what needs to be done about it.

As posted on another forum,

A reminder that Rishi Sunak’s family’s business Infosys boasts of its partnership with "two of the top five integrated oil and gas companies, three of the top four oilfield services providers, and five of the top 10 upstream enterprises across the oil and gas landscape.”

So how genuine are his environmental concerns?

Less stuff, more joy, as Take the Jump say.

Octopus tell me he has limited the number of such grants to 10,000, so imply that I had better get on and order my heat pump soonish in order to benefit. Is that correct, does anyone know? I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere else yet, but haven’t read a lot about it all. Maybe that limit applied previously too, and is just a carry-over.

Edit: Correction: I see that Octopus say merely that the government “have reduced the number of grants by 10,000”. Not that they have limited them to 10,000. My mistake.

Is there a requirement for your home to be well insulated first?
I am unsure about going for a heat pump at the moment, but I don’t want to replace our gas boiler for a new one.

There isn’t a particular level of insulation required by the grant but the latest EPC mustn’t recommend loft or cavity wall insulation.

For the system to work economically you would actually need a good C or better.

While looking up the EPC requirements I spotted that the BUS applies to biomass boilers. Hardly a low carbon technology, just a slightly lower than gas one (assuming you use your own biomass and don’t import Canadian forests kiln dried with oil, pelletised with diesel machinery, shipped to a port by diesel trucks and then to Britain by heavy oil burning ships and then delivered on more diesel trucks.)

Can you translate that to a PHPP heat loss result, @Tim_Gilbert? I have seen Andy Hamilton’s heat pump videos for Carbon Coop which suggest that a 5kW house is really the aim.

PHPP or Passivhaus rules do not allow for a 5kW house, or any other such rating. What they do prescribe are rates per square meter. As we are talking retrofit we could take EnerPHit as an example, in our climate zone, cool temperate, the requirement is 25kWh/(m2a). However this does not tell you the power of a prospective heat pump, even when you have worked out the annual figure in kWh as heating is not distributed evenly across the year. Heat requirement roughly follows a bell curve with no heating at all for about half the year. You want your heat pump to meet or almost meet peak demand in a normal year and have a backup system (eg. Electric radiator) to top up in abnormal years. A heat pump capable of meeting exceptional demand would be inefficient in warmer weather and more expensive to buy/fit.

There are a number of web sites that claim to calculate the size of heat pump you need. The ones that ask for room sizes and target temperatures are generally better, I believe, but I haven’t tried them.

I had a professional house assessment by NIBE back in 2017 and at the time they said I needed an 8kW heat pump. The quote was way out of my price range and the kit was larger than I had room for.

Over the following years I enhanced my house and about 2 years ago roughly calculated the savings in the “after” state to decide that I had got down to 6kW requirement. I also reduced my boiler flow temperature from 60°C to 40°C to save gas and emulate a heat pump. This was before Carbon Coop’s Heat Pump Challenge.

Then began my attempts to find a suitable system and installer. I knew that my then system worked at low temperature but most installers insisted on replacing my cylinder and radiators. During this time the BUS was launched and I changed from investigative to true customer.

A week ago I did actually have a PHPP assessment, results pending, so the accuracy of my hunches and back of an envelope calculations will presumably come to light.

In the recent cooler spell one of my rooms was not keeping within range, so I will be opening the lock shield valve a little over a period of time to try to balance the modified system. I very much doubt that I will need to replace the radiator. I want to get it balanced before the heating season starts in earnest.

So, @Paul_Hadfield, after all that waffle I haven’t actually answered your question but hopefully you are armed with useful information.

You could get some assistance from:

Thanks, @Tim_Gilbert. Yes, I didn’t mean to imply that I thought that 5kW peak demand would meet any particular standard such as Passivehouse . But I just remembered that @andyham, in his considerable experience of heat pumps, had come to the conclusion that, for a heat pump to be reasonably economical in the UK, a typical house should aim for a degree of insulation and airtightness such that it would have a 5kW peak demand (including hot water?) as predicted by PHPP or any other similarly rigorous type of software (and as measured in practice, once the house has been retrofitted). And I just wondered whether that could be compared in any way to an EPC ‘C’ rating such as you suggest. I suspect that many C-rated houses of average size would have peak heat demands considerably above 5kW (and of course, the larger the ‘C’-rated house, the more likely it will have a peak heat demand of more than 5kW). But maybe I am wrong.

My view is that as EPC is largely based on cost of providing energy to your home (as some fabled or historic rates) it cannot reflect energy use. Oil heating and electricity give worse EPCs than gas. If you factor that in I should think that a good C or better would be needed for a gas based house to convert. That doesn’t mean that owners of good Cs should get complacent. All homes should be retrofitted to the best that their architecture and fabric permit, which given time, thought and money is far better than most EPC “potential” results.

Returning to the original topic of this thread, I see that drilling has now been sanctioned for Rosebank. It has been said that just developing and running the oilfield, before even burning the oil and gas it contains will exceed the government’s target for all oil and gas related work in the UK. This inconvenience can easily be overcome by the government halting the process, or more likely by changing the rules.

The Climate Change Committee has crunched the numbers after the prime minister’s announcements and now published their response.

I’ve been trying to figure our how far away from being heat pump ready my house is, and had British Gas do a survey a few months ago. As I said elsewhere the figures weren’t too bad. But I hadn’t read the small print which said that the £5k BUS grant was subject to eligibility.

This only came to light when I looked at Heat Geek’s initial online estimate and they flagged up a problem with EPC insulation recommendations (room in roof, gable wall and underfloor!). The EPC was done when I wanted a D rating to get Green Homes Grant, (which I didn’t get for other reasons), but which may have influenced the surveyor to err on the side of caution.

If Heat Geek were able to flag up the insulation recommendations, why couldn’t BG do the same I wonder!

I am planning on getting underfloor insulation asap but EWI on gable wall on hold due to technical problems and cost, and room in roof built in 2007 should be adequately insulated, according to Building Regs at the time, but unfortunately I don’t have a Building Control completion certificate, and the company who did the work are no longer trading.

I know the room-in-roof does need more insulation, but the £7.5k BUS grant would help me get off gas sooner and pay for more insulation work.

Does anyone know if councils will reissue certificates 15+ years later? Or is there another way to demonstrate to an EPC surveyor that the room in roof insulation recommendation should be removed from the EPC? I’d only do this when the underfloor has been insulated.