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Refusal to install a heat pump could lower the valuation of your house


By Paul Homewood

h/t Ian Magness

More state control being imposed on us:

Households that refuse to install heat pumps could see their properties fall in value under a Government review.

A “root and branch” review of how Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are calculated will boost the scores of households that use heat pumps, remote-controlled thermostats and other eco inventions backed by ministers.

The system, which will be in place by 2025, is designed to reflect the Government’s commitment to decarbonising homes as part of its Net Zero drive.

But it may also mean that those who do not adopt green technology in their homes will receive a lower score, which can reduce the value of a property or make it more difficult to rent out.

Landlords have already been told that properties with a rating of less than “C” will be illegal to lease after 2027, while mortgage lenders have offered preferential rates to those buying houses rated “A” or “B”.

The latest move to change the calculations behind EPCs could force homeowners to adopt home energy alterations, or face a costly downgrade.

The Building Research Establishment, which is conducting the review, said the new system would be “better suited to modern and dynamic technologies which will help decarbonise the UK’s housing stock, such as heat pumps, renewables, storage technologies and smart control devices”.

It will also be used in the Future Homes Standard, which mandates that new homes built from 2025 must have low-carbon heating systems installed.

Cost of heat pumps

But despite a recent VAT cut on heat pumps, solar panels and other home renovations in Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement, trade bodies have warned it is still prohibitively expensive to convert all but the best-insulated homes.

Air source heat pumps, which produce energy by extracting air from outside a property and blowing it across refrigerant liquid, cost £10,855 per property on average, versus £1,400 for a replacement gas boiler.

Households that install the systems typically pay less in energy bills, but the savings are not enough to recoup the original cost of installation, according to the Energy & Utilities Alliance.

Data show around one per cent of UK properties have already been fitted with heat pumps – one of the lowest take-up rates in Europe.

Britain was joint last of 21 European countries in a league table released by Greenpeace last year.

By contrast, the pumps have been adopted in 60 per cent of Norwegian homes and 43 per cent of homes in Sweden.

‘Statism gone mad’

The technology is controversial within the Conservative Party, including among the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, a band of around 50 Tory MPs and peers.

They argue that the pumps are not yet well-developed enough to be rolled out to homes across Britain, and that ministers are imposing unfair costs on homeowners by encouraging their installation.

Craig Mackinlay, the chairman of the group, said altering the EPC calculations to favour properties with green technology was “statism gone mad”.

“This is ‘nudge factor’ on steroids, towards certain technologies that are unproven, unpopular and don’t work very well,” he told The Telegraph.

“I would recommend they leave it alone and wait for technologies that people actually want to come forward, rather than frightening the mortgage, rental and domestic property markets, which it looks to me that this is likely to do.”

If heat pumps were so attractive, there would be no need to force them on us.


MAY 4, 2022

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