One of Britain’s biggest housebuilders is to install heat pumps in its new homes as standard, as the Government prepares to ban new gas boilers.
Redrow has become the first major housebuilder to install heat pumps as standard, the company said on Tuesday.
All its new detached houses built will be heated by heat pumps, which draw warmth from the outside air and run on electricity. They are greener than gas boilers as an increasing proportion of electricity comes from green sources such as wind and solar power.
The FTSE 250 housebuilder, which completes more than 5,000 homes a year, began installing heat pumps in its new developments from this month.
Redrow’s shift comes amid growing pressure to ditch gas boilers. In a recent report prepared for the Government, Chris Skidmore MP said the central heating sources should be banned by 2033, two years earlier than currently planned.
Home heating is currently one of the largest sources of carbon emissions, as most houses are heated by methane gas-fired boilers. This will need to change to meet the Government’s legally binding target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Ministers currently have a target of installing 600,000 heat pumps each year by 2028, up from 40,000 in 2021. Industry experts have warned there is a shortage of engineers if that target is to be met.
As well as heat pumps, boilers fed by clean-burning hydrogen are also being considered as a possible alternative.
A drive to install heat pumps in houses started a price war last week triggered by British Gas. The supplier set a starting price of £2,999 per install for an air source heat pump – £1 lower than a standard installation offered by rival Octopus Energy.
That price does not reflect the total cost of installing heat pumps, as it factors in government grants currently on offer for £5,000-£,6000 per installation.
Redrow has partnered with Mitsubishi, Vaillant and Daiken installation to provide heat pumps for its houses.
Matthew Pratt, Redrow’s chief executive, said: “The move to air source heat pumps will ensure our future homes are ‘zero-carbon ready’ for when the grid is decarbonised and supports our goal of achieving science-based net-zero emissions no later than 2050 across our operations, homes and supply chain.”