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Heat Pumps- Why do the governments subsidise them?

Aug 1, 2020 | Sustainability

Have you seen an instagram ad saying how the government will pay for your heat pump in a scheme worth billions of dollars? I will not blame you for thinking that it must be a scam. However, I can tell you this much- it is not! The British government in collaboration with the private sector will spend over 10 Billion pounds every year in a bid to chase its net zero emissions goal by 2050.

Working of a geothermal heat pump

What is a heat pump? Technically, a heat pump is an inverse of the fridge in your kitchen. It takes in the heat from outside your home and delivers it in. Then what is a geothermal heat pump? When the heat is taken from the earth below us, it becomes a geothermal heat pump, just like in the picture above! Heat pumps can work like heaters in winter and coolers in summer. We are using the temperature difference between the earth below us and the air around us to heat or cool our homes. As this process is unlimited, it is renewable and hence is covered under the government’s renewable energy policies.

In order to know why the government prioritise heat pumps over solar or wind energy systems for heating in individual households, these systems are based on already proven technology with good efficiency and help reduce national energy consumption. As we know, reduce comes before reuse and recycle- so they make sound financial sense. However, the cost of a system could go well into 5 digits and this is where the governments come in with their finance schemes.

The British government offers a plethora of choices for a home owner. Subsidies of around one-third of the cost of installation and financing options with zero down payment are quite attractive for any one looking at the opportunity of reducing their energy bills. These systems have become quite popular in the United States as well; My friends at SaveOnEnergy work with American homes and businesses in reducing their energy costs through innovative and sustainable energy solutions like geothermal heat pumps.

We know the difficulties with intermittent renewable energy sources. While my start-up and many others try to solve the trillion dollar problem, we need to start investing on proven technology and improve the efficiency and reduce the energy wastage in our homes and businesses.