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Solar, heat pumps and EV chargers can save homes £1,800 on energy costs, report finds

Air source heat pumps could result in significant savings on energy bills. Image: David Bebber.

Air source heat pumps could result in significant savings on energy bills. Image: David Bebber.

Low carbon technologies such as solar panels, EV chargers and heat pumps could save UK households more than £1,800 a year on their energy bills, new analysis has revealed.

The research, reported today by WWF and ScottishPower and published amidst growing concern over the cost of utility bills, also claims that installing such technologies could increase property values by an average of £10,000.

The research is included within a new report, entitled ‘Better Homes, Cooling Planet’, which assessed data from five million house sales in England and Wales alongside further technical analysis by BEAMA to reach its conclusions.

It found that rooftop solar installations could deliver savings of around £586 per year through both electricity savings and the sale of surplus power under the Smart Export Guarantee, while it currently costs homes around £117 less per year to run a heat pump than an old boiler.

Those savings are amplified by combining a heat pump with good insulation. Poorly insulated homes with an old boiler are expected to pay annual energy costs of around £2,416 per year, however this falls drastically to around £1,512 per year when combining a heat pump with good insulation.

Purchasing an electric vehicle was also found to result in significant savings compared to the cost of maintaining a petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicle, the report finding that drivers could save between £194 and £572 per year. These savings are further amplified if a home has a rooftop solar array and a battery energy storage system, while time of use tariffs offer further savings for EV drivers.

In relation to the impact of energy saving materials on household equity, the report concludes that installing an air source heat pump, rooftop solar PV and EV charger would cost around £15,780. However those installations stand to add up to £15,260 to the value of a home, laying clear the benefits of adopting low carbon technologies.

“Accelerating the rollout of low-carbon technologies and energy efficiency is the best way to ensure the UK’s energy security, shield homeowners from the high price of fossil fuels, and protect the planet,” Isabella O’Dowd, head of climate at WWF-UK, said.

The report draws on its conclusions to recommend a number of initiatives and changes for policy makers in order to ensure as much of the population as possible can benefit from low carbon technologies.

These include fulfilling the commitment within the heat and buildings strategy to re-balance policy costs on energy bills – something the government began in earnest this week through proposed reforms to the electricity market – and scaling up the boiler upgrade scheme while also extending it beyond 2025.

The boiler upgrade scheme has proven contentious and last week the Ground Source Heat Pump Association slammed the government’s track record with the policy, arguing that it had failed to drive interest.

The report also recommends that government also ramp up support for energy efficiency upgrades, targeting lower income households in particular. That successive government policies targeting energy efficiency upgrades have failed, with no successor for the much-maligned Green Homes Grant, in sight, has been the subject of much criticism of this government.

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