Experts have issued a stark warning about the potential consequences of a government initiative promoting heat pumps to decarbonise home heating.
The move could result in a substantial £300 surge in gas boiler prices, industry leaders have warned.
The proposal, known as the Clean Heat Market Mechanism, seeks to incentivise the adoption of heat pumps.
Manufacturers may soon face stringent targets, with a requirement that at least 4% of their new systems sold must be heat pumps.
In an interview with The Times, Carl Arntzen, the Chief Executive Officer of Worcester Bosch, expressed his concerns about these penalties being transferred to consumers, stating, “The price of a boiler currently within the supply chain is anything from about £700 to £1,000.
“In some cases, for the top end of our models, we’re having to look at around a £300 price increase.”
Mr Arntzen has compared the proposed policy to a ‘boiler tax’ and suggested that it may be an attempt to bridge the cost gap between gas boilers and more expensive heat pumps.
Officials see the expansion of efficient electric heating systems, especially when replacing fossil fuel heating, as a key strategy to lower overall energy demand and combat the approximately 25% of UK greenhouse gas emissions linked to building heating.
The official documentation regarding the Clean Heat Mechanism emphasises the need for swift expansion of the heat pump market.
It is stated: “It is important that we rapidly grow the heat pump market towards around 600,000 installations per year by 2028 to make heat pumps a mainstream consumer solution alongside gas boilers, approximately 1.8 million of which are currently installed each year.”
Officials at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said: “No manufacturer will need to face penalties or increase the price of a gas boiler.
“The scheme aims to set targets that are achievable, providing the industry with flexible options to support our ambition to make heat pumps an affordable, cleaner and attractive choice for households across the country.”