Homes across the UK running on fossil fuels are responsible for how many tonnes of CO2e per year?!

Why should you invest in a heat pump?

Author(s)
Megan Potts
Topic
Homes across the UK running on fossil fuels are responsible for how many tonnes of CO2e per year?!
Pledge
Invest in Renewable Energy

Brand Partners

Igloo Energy

Heating and the climate crisis

Buildings account for 19% of GHG emissions in the UK meaning they are the second largest source of emissions [1].

This is partly due to the 90% of homes in England currently relying on fossil fuels for heating, cooking, and hot water [2]. As a result, homes across the UK running on fossil fuels are responsible for approximately 58.5 million tonnes of CO2e each year. [3] That’s 468 times the weight of The Shard (12,500 tonnes), the tallest building in the UK! [4]

Despite emissions from buildings across the UK having fallen by 18MtCO2e (17%) over the last 30 years [1], to reach the UK Governments Net Zero by 2050 commitment a further reduction 5 times greater than this is necessary.

To achieve this the government has released a ‘Greener Buildings’ strategy outlined within the ten-point plan for achieving Net Zero [5]. This strategy suggests that homes and buildings need to be made more energy efficient whilst moving away from fossil fuel boilers, replacing them with lower carbon alternatives. Currently there are 1.7 million boiler installations in the UK every year but by mid-2030 all newly installed heating systems will be expected to be low carbon [6]. Achieving this will require a significant uptake of low-carbon technology across homes in the UK.

The good news is that 60% of people in the UK already want to make their homes greener! [3] If 60% of homes were able to switch from oil and gas heating to renewable energy sources they could save a total of 35,130,000 tons of CO2, that’s around 9% of all UK emissions!

How can we make heating more environmentally friendly?

One low-carbon technology the UK Government is promoting is heat pumps, having committed to increasing the installation of heat pumps from 30,000 to 600,000 per year by 2028. [5]

Heat pump definition – “A very efficient electrically-driven device that extracts heat from the air, ground or water and concentrates it to a higher temperature and delivers it elsewhere, for example to a central heating system. It can replace fossil fuel heating, such as a gas or oil boiler”

The introduction of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) launched in April 2022 will run for 3 years and has allocated £450m to provide property owners with grants of £5,000 to install air source heat pumps [7]. This development is extremely positive considering that most people who want to make their homes greener see the cost of low-carbon tech as the greatest barrier! [3]

What is an air source heat pump?

“Air source heat pumps take advantage of the fact that outdoor air at any temperature above absolute zero (-273° Celsius) contains energy. It simply transfers a certain amount of this energy as heat from the outside to the inside of your home.” [7].

Why opt for one?

Greenr’s new brand partner Igloo Energy sum this up:

“Our mission is to make our customers' homes smarter, more efficient and cost less to run while helping the world get a cleaner and more sustainable energy system.”

So here’s four key reasons switching from standard boilers to air source heat pumps will be better for the planet and your pocket in the long run:

  1. Low carbon

Whilst an air source heat pump does rely on electricity and is therefore not zero carbon, it produces significantly less emissions than a traditional gas boiler. Igloo Energy have calculated that a home with an average annual heat demand of 12,000 kWh (medium usage) installing their air source heat pumps will save 22.1 tonnes of CO2e over the course of its lifetime. That’s 66% less CO2e when compared to a gas boiler with an 87% efficiency!

  1. Energy efficient

They can deliver up to four times more heat than the electricity they consume, making them 3-4 times more efficient than a standard boiler! [7]

  1. Reduced bills

If your boiler is due for an upgrade, switching to an air source heat pump could save you a significant amount of money. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that there is a potential annual saving of £910 for an average sized, four-bedroom detached home that switches from an old (G-rated) gas boiler to an air source heat pump [8].

  1. Reduced dependency on gas

Over the last 12 months wholesale gas prices have increased by 335%, and this rise is expected to continue [9] with the Climate Change Committee estimating that by 2030 domestic gas prices will be 50% higher [10]. At the same time electricity prices are expected to decrease, with the National Infrastructure Commission predicting that electricity costs will decrease by 58% by 2050 [11]. Therefore, installing an air source heat pump will not only be beneficial for the environment but also reduce dependency on expensive and scarce resources

If you're considering making your home Greenr keep an eye out for exclusive Igloo Energy discounts to come!

Sources

[1] UK greenhouse gas emissions national statistics: 1990 to 2018

[2] English Housing Survey 2018 Report

[3] UK Residents Want Greener Homes

[4] Building The Shard

[5] Energy White Paper: Powering Our Net Zero Future

[6] Domestic Boilers (World Market for Heating Boilers 2020/R2019)

[7] Igloo Energy

[8] Air Source Heat Pumps

[9] Reasons for UK Gas Price Increase

[10] Climate Change Committee - Energy Prices and Bills

[11] Energy and Fuel Bills Today and in 2050