The government's heat pump scheme has been labelled a failure because it has missed its installation target.
According to figures from Ofgem, fewer than 10,000 pumps have been installed in England and Wales during the first year of the programme, which gives households money to pay for the pumps as part of net-zero efforts to reduce dependency on gas.
The scheme had a budget of £150 million to fund 30,000 heat pumps, but just £60 million worth of vouchers were given out.
Ofgem said it received 15,768 applications, issued 11,996 vouchers and 9,981 were redeemed.
Kevin Mcguane, who is energy services director at DMA Group, a property maintenance specialist, said: “To meet our national Net Zero targets we need both innovation and diverse solutions, not a rush for expensive heat pump alternatives. It’s a dilemma for most homeowners and small businesses who genuinely want to play their part.
“The capital costs involved in replacing a conventional gas boiler with a heat pump are huge by comparison. Even with a government grant, the cost of a heat pump is typically twice that of a conventional gas boiler. Not to mention the very long lead times to buy and install this renewable technology. These challenges are magnified by the exceptional macro-economic and geo-political events that currently conspire to compound our Net Zero objectives.
“The one characteristic that does support carbon reduction/demand reduction are the increases in energy bills. The government must support energy demand reduction with grants towards better insulation, double glazing, LED lighting, and better heating controls. Controls such as absence and presence detection can also ensure that lights are not left on.”