Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Britain has looked to end its reliance on imported fossil fuels, particularly as the invasion causes wholesale gas prices to skyrocket. One major scheme that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled to tackle the energy crisis is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), a major subsidy scheme to cut the costs of buying a new heat pump in households by half.
At market price, an average energy-efficient heat pump costs nearly £10,000, which means that households can save £5,000 with the BUS.
With the scheme set to roll out on Monday, EDF has announced a major partnership that seeks to build more heat pumps for the french firm’s UK customers.
According to their statement: “EDF in the UK, Britain’s biggest generator of zero-carbon electricity, has entered into a strategic investment and partnership with Clacton-based CB Heating to advance its heat pump offering for its UK customers and help upskill engineers across the country.
“The strategic investment means EDF will partner with CB Heating for its customer’s heat pump installations, offering EDF’s 3 million customers an end-to-end installation journey through CB Heating’s Heat Pump Installer Network (HPIN) – with 500 approved heat pump installers in the UK.”
The BUS is part of the Government’s plan to ban the sale of new gas boilers from 2036, as part of its net zero pledges.
The UK is currently targeting the installation of 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
To accelerate this process and lower the costs of heat pumps, Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently announced that the government is scrapping the 5 percent VAT on home energy efficiency technology including heat pumps over the next five years.
Speaking to Express.co.uk Philippe Commaret, Managing Director of Customers at EDF, commented: “We welcome the ambition of the Government’s target to install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028.
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“As Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, we are in full support of any move to reduce the UK’s dependence on polluting fossil fuels.
“The impact of the conflict in Ukraine on already spiralling gas prices has brought our reliance on fossil fuels into sharp focus.
“With 85 percent of UK houses still using gas boilers for heat, global gas price spikes are keenly felt within individual households up and down the country.
“As the wider cost of living crisis continues to bite, prioritising investments such as this is an important step towards achieving energy security – shifting away from the elements we cannot control and better-protecting households from the volatility of global fossil-fuel markets.”
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EDF’s investment will also boost jobs, as the company aims to develop support for a Heat Pump Installers Network Academy, which will deliver training to upskill engineers across the country.
According to the latest MCS figures, there are less than 4,000 qualified heat pump installers in the UK compared to more than 100,000 gas safe engineers.
EDF believes that by this autumn, the Academy has the potential to train up to 4,000 new heat pump installers.