South West is keen to go green – but heat pump myths are a barrier to progress

A new poll suggests people in the South West are keen to support the switch to a cleaner and greener future – but are being held back by too many myths surrounding one of the most effective solutions.

Wiltshire-based renewable electricity company Good Energy commissioned Opinium1 to survey people’s views on a wide range of topics around sustainability.

It found almost two thirds of South West residents polled (62 per cent) agree the UK is not moving fast enough on its climate goals, and 57 per cent agree that reaching net zero will be beneficial to the UK.

Almost three quarters (72 per cent) believe all new homes should have solar panels, and more than half (52 per cent) would consider installing them on their current home.

Half of residents (50 per cent) expect their green behaviours to increase over the next five years, with 70 per cent saying it’s because they care for the environment. A third (33 per cent) recognise it would save them money in the long run.

One of the best ways for households to cut carbon emissions and cut costs is to switch to a heat pump instead of using gas and oil, and the Government has ambitions to install 600,000 a year by 2028.

Grants of £7,500 are available, and there are proposals for them to be the default option for all new homes by 2025.

Yet the polling found just two per cent of South West households currently have a heat pump, and just seven per cent expect to install one within the next five years.

A big challenge is the level of misinformation around their installation and operation.

Almost a quarter of South West households (24 per cent) wrongly believe a heat pump is louder than a fridge, 15 per cent wrongly believe they only work in newer homes, 14 per cent wrongly believe they require underfloor heating and 12 per cent wrongly believe they don’t work in the cold.

In response, Good Energy has launched a new campaign – Ten myths around air source heat pumps busted.

Nigel Pocklington
Nigel Pocklington

Good Energy chief executive Nigel Pocklington said: “It’s great to see the South West wants to see faster action on climate goals, and people are environmentally aware and increasingly motivated to adopt greener lifestyles.

“There’s strong support for solar panels but the myths and misinformation around heat pumps are holding the region back, which is why we launched this new campaign.

“We hope it will encourage people to look at the facts and realise this proven technology is one of the most effective ways for individual households to play their part in tackling the climate crisis – while also saving money.”

Good Energy heat pump customer Di Cross
Good Energy heat pump customer Di Cross

Di Cross, from Whiteparish near Salisbury, replaced her old gas boiler with a heat pump in 2021 and is now featured in a series of Green home films on the Good Energy website.

She said: “Initially I was worried that a heat pump would be noisy – but it really isn’t noisy at all. I don’t think my neighbours even know it is there.

“My solar panels and heat pump have kept my bills significantly lower than those that my friends have unfortunately been faced with, which has been a huge relief through so much uncertainty.

“Not only have I looked after the environment and saved myself money, I have future proofed my home as well.”

Good Energy boasts a 100% renewable energy mix which includes wind, solar and hydroelectric projects, and now installs heat pumps and solar panels too.

Visit www.goodenergy.co.uk

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