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New research shows that British public prefer ongoing use of gas to heat pumps

New research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) shows a marked contrast between the level of support for net zero and endorsement for heat pumps as a route to help get there.

One in ten people (10%) surveyed across the UK want to use a heat pump in their home, with a preference instead for the ongoing use of gas.

69% of UK adults believe it is important the UK reaches its goal of achieving net zero by 2050, but only 10% of those surveyed said they either have a heat pump or want to get one. In fact, 45% of UK adults said they have not even considered switching to a heat pump.

In contrast, 51% of UK adults said they would support blending natural gas with hydrogen to reduce the carbon emissions caused by home heating.

And this support for some form of ongoing use of gas was underscored by 66% of UK adults supporting the plan from 2030 to make all boilers capable of conversion to use a zero-carbon gas, such as hydrogen.

Commenting on the findings, Mike Foster CEO of EUA said:

“Heat pumps have a role to play in decarbonising our homes, but the upfront costs and higher running costs make them the choice of the well-off. For most consumers, they are unable or unwilling to pay the sums needed to fit a heat pump.

“What is crystal clear is the support for keeping gas boilers and decarbonising the gas used. Blending hydrogen into the network is supported by a margin of five to one; having boilers fitted ready to use a low carbon gas, like hydrogen, is supported by a margin of seven to one. It is clear what the public want.

“We need to follow the grain of public opinion on this issue. It is central to their lives. We want them to support the drive towards net zero, so we owe it to them to accept the route they wish to see getting there.”