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Dermots zero carbon heat page

The Sustainable Living Group hosted a zoom discussion on 14th June 2021 saying that ‘Heat Pumps are coming!’

Most of us don’t think about our heating system very much, unless it breaks down. But the way we heat our homes is going to change considerably over the next 10-15 years. To reach the government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, we will all need to stop using gas for heating, and the Committee on Climate Change is recommending that government bans the sale of new gas boilers from 2033.

The replacement is likely to be a mixture of heat pumps, electric heating and district heating. The government’s recent 10 point plan for a green industrial recovery forecasts that by 2028, 600,000 heat pumps will be installed each year. Older readers may recall a similar nationwide switch in heating from town gas to natural gas which took place fifty years ago!

Heat pumps use electricity efficiently to provide heat. They are widely used in Europe though only around 26,000 are installed each year in the UK. So for us Londoners, there are a lot of questions about this different heating technology. How much space does a heat pump take up? Ground source or air source heat pump? What about the electricity bills?

For the recording click here.


  1. Dermot Barnes local retrofit and renewables expert presented

Zero Carbon retrofit: disconnecting the Gas……and then what ?


2. Bean Beanland of the Heat Pump Federation presented:

The role of electrification in decarbonising homes & the role of Government policy.



3.  Jason Blanchard, a heat pump installer from South London presented:

Heat pumps – What should I be asking? And what are the answers.


Further Information

Ramping up from a standing start.

from The Development of trajectories for Residential Heat Decarbonisations for the Committee on Climate Change is  here.

The GLA Heat Pump Retrofit in London v2. hereThe accompanying appraisal of typical home types in London, their clean heat options with whole life cost comparisons is here.

When gas and central heating came along

The transition from ‘town gas’ to North Sea Gas in the early 70s was controlled by the Government. The transition now to heat pumps with low carbon electricity is an even bigger challenge as households are expected to manage the work themselves.

More history of the big switch between 1968 and 1976 is here.

But remember we won’t necessarily have to change radiators or chisel in new pipes!

And think about the possibility of guilt free air conditioning with the excess solar of a hot day being used to turn heat pumps round.