In order to achieve the green goal of turning the nation carbon neutral by 2050 the Government will install heat pumps in millions of homes. 

Energy-­efficiency ratings could soon also hit house prices and mortgage rates, as ministers put pressure on lenders to help make the housing stock more eco friendly. 

Money Mail today reports that installing a heat pump can actually reduce your home’s energy efficiency score. Experts warn that the rating system is outdated and not fit for purpose. 

Heat pumps will be installed in millions of homes as part of the Government¿s green goal to turn the nation carbon neutral by 2050

In order to achieve the green goal of turning the nation carbon neutral by 2050, heat pump will be installed into millions of homes.

It also comes down to the taxes that are levied on electricity. This means that a heat pump may cost up to 30% more than a regular gas boiler. Experts in mortgages worry that millions of homeowners could be trapped in homes with poor insulation and cannot sell or afford to improve their homes as a result of the march towards a carbon free Britain. 

Many are also still reeling from previous green home schemes that have flopped — with millions unable to take advantage and rogue traders chasing grant cash. Money Mail reported earlier this year, that some green home upgrades could take 50 years to pay off through fuel savings. Will the Government’s new eco-drive just be another green farce? 


Under the new green home proposals, mortgage lenders will have to have an average rating of C for all homes on their books by 2030. An energy performance certificate (EPC), which rates homes, gives them a grade between A and G. The home must be scored at construction and when it is sold or rented. 

Around 19million homes in Britain are rated below C. Certificates are valid for ten year, while some listed buildings do no require one. A Home Report is required for sellers in Scotland. It includes an EPC (or energy report). An EPC rates your home on how much it costs to heat — giving an efficiency score out of 100. The rating does not indicate how dangerous heating your home is for our environment. 

Under the new green homes proposals, mortgage lenders will be asked to have an average energy-efficiency rating of C across homes on their books by 2030

The new green home proposals will require mortgage lenders to have an average energy efficiency rating of C across all homes they hold by 2030.

Kevin Bolton, EPC assessor, says that they are wrong because they all focus on cost. They should be concerned about carbon rating. Paula Higgins of the HomeOwners Alliance describes the EPC as a “blunt instrument”. An EPC costs between £60 and £100 and will involve an assessor visiting your home to carry out a survey. 

Analysis by Elmhurst Energy, an EPC assessor accreditation firm, shows that replacing a condensing boiler with a heatpump in a detached house would actually lower the property’s EPC score of 63 to 60. Because electricity is more costly than gas per kilowatt, this is called the EPC score. An EPC can also provide advice to homeowners on how to improve their home’s energy efficiency. 

We fear that our property may lose its value 

Kendall Platt, 35, lives with her husband and their daughter in a 1720s house that has low energy efficiency. The property is grade II-listed, which means she cannot fit solar panels or heat pumps without permission. 

Even if she is granted permission, she isn’t confident that they will be efficient enough in heating her home. Kendall, a garden coach, is concerned that the value of her home will decline as the Government pushes for homes with a C’ efficiency rating. She stated that it feels like an unfair penalty to live in an old house. “I would love to make our home more energy efficient, but the structure and age of our house makes it impossible. 

“We tried to install wall insulation a few decades ago but couldn’t because our walls aren’t designed for it.” 

Kendall lives with her husband Dave (37), and their three-year-old daughter Arwen. They bought the house for £385,000 in 2013. She says: ‘We don’t want to move as I love our home — it’s beautiful. It is a concern to think about the future value of the home. 

“We want the Government protect homes like ours. Otherwise, all listed buildings which are a significant part of history will fall into ruin.” 

This includes insulation in the walls, attics, and installation of solar panels. It also includes energy-efficient lighting. The current system doesn’t recommend installing a heatpump. Chris Wilde is the managing director of Yorkshire Energy Systems, a heat pump installer. He says that it’s absurd because gas produces much more CO2. The EPC isn’t fit for purpose. They were created before renewables were a big deal and have never been updated. If the Government wants to roll out heat pumps in large numbers, they will need to update EPCs. We hope to see a huge change. 


Heat pumps are more costly to operate than traditional gas boilers, because electricity costs more per watt. This is because electricity bills come with climate taxes that are around 23pc and gas at 2pc. Martyn R. Reed, Elmhurst Energy’s managing director, said: “The Government wants people using electric but at the moment there is this price anomaly where electricity is taxed. It’s out-of-control. 

The Government stated that it would like to shift the levies on electricity prices to make it less expensive for households over a decade. Experts think this might solve the problem with heat pumps or EPCs. Octopus Energy spokesperson says that it is now cheaper to produce electricity from renewable sources than it is from fossil fuels. However, because of this tax imbalance the price of electricity has been artificially raised. 

“In fact, heat pumps would be half the cost to run if carbon taxes were switched from electricity to natural gas. While this may not happen immediately, we hope that by the time most people have a heat pump, it will be less expensive to run than an electric boiler. 


The Government last week said that it wanted to ban the installation of gas boilers by 2035, and would offer 90,000 households a grant of £5,000 to put in a heat pump from April next year. Heat pumps use energy from the air or ground to provide central heating or hot water. They can cost between £8,000 and £15,000 to set up. The Government plans to install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028. However, there are concerns about the lack of qualified installers and quality-control checks to ensure homeowners don’t pay too much for a poor system. 

Mr Wilde claims that shoddy work could compromise the rollout if there are not proper checks. He said: “There have always been plenty of cowboys around, and when you have Government incentives, you will have cowboys that don’t know anything about the technology. It’s a nightmare. 

He also explained that only 750 heat pumps engineers are employed in the country, while 19,000 gas boiler installers are. He also stated that even if all gas engineers were qualified to install heat pumps, they would likely only manage 60,000 per year. Mr Wilde stated that if you have an average one-man band, it is likely you will get a lot more bad installations. It must be controlled to stop cowboys from coming in. 

Mr Wilde says a heat pump can do anything a boiler can — but only if it is installed properly. He says that homes with poor insulation will require a bigger heat pump and larger radiators but they can still be kept warm. 


A study of 200,000 homes by Rightmove found that owners who upgraded their home from an F to C saw the value rise 16pc, while moving from an E to C added 8pc, and from a D to C added an extra 4pc

Rightmove’s study of 200,000 homes found that home owners who upgraded from F to C saw their home’s value increase 16pc. Moving from E to C increased 8pc and a D to B added 4pc.

MPs last week warned that the Government’s green mortgage plans risked trapping millions of owners in unsellable homes — as well as making it harder for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder. These proposals would require lenders to disclose the energy performance and set voluntary targets to improve insulation. Experts fear that people who live in older properties may not be able to remortgage their homes or sell them if they are unable to afford the improvements. 

Matthew Fleming-Duffy, director at Cherry Mortgage & Finance Ltd, says: ‘England has some of the oldest housing stock in the world, with 21pc of dwellings built before 1919 and 16pc built between 1919 and 1945, and older properties tend to be colder and often more challenging (and expensive) to improve.’ Rightmove’s analysis earlier this year showed that 1.7 million homes would not be able to achieve a C rating. Shaw Financial Services founder Lewis Shaw said that the market could easily become a two-tiered one. The most significant impact would almost certainly be felt by first-time buyers and young people in adisproportionate manner. 

It’s too expensive to upgrade 

Tasnime Rotherham’s husband Neil is concerned that their 1920s home will not be sold due to the Government’s green strategy. Their house in Peterborough (Cambridgeshire) has an ‘E” energy efficiency rating that cannot be upgraded without costly work. 

The couple would find it difficult to install a heat pump — which tend to only work with floor and wall insulation. If gas boilers are banned, this will leave them stuck. Tasnime (37 years old) says that when they bought the house, they didn’t factor in the cost of running it. 

“We worry that we’ll be stuck here for the rest of our lives because no one will buy it. ‘I can understand why homes need more efficiency, but it feels that homeowners like me have been forgotten. 

The couple paid £230,000 for their home but are worried its value will depreciate. They are concerned more levies will be put on gas prices to convince people to transfer to electric alternatives — which are not suitable for their home. Tasnime runs a looseleaf Tea business called Very Craftea. “But if our expenses keep rising, I will have no choice but to return to full-time work. This is the worst-case scenario. 

Ms Higgins of the HomeOwners Alliance fears that the proposals could increase the cost of new-build properties. Rightmove’s study of 200,000 homes found that homeowners who upgraded their home to an F or C saw their property’s value rise 16 percent, while those who moved from an E to a C increased their value by 8pc and those who moved from a D from D added 4pc. Lenders Nationwide, NatWest and others have pledged to make sure that at least half of their mortgages are EPC C or higher by 2030. 

Nationwide has put £1billion aside to help people retrofit their homes. Nationwide’s chief strategy officer and sustainability officer Claire Tracey says it is crucial that everyone benefits and no one is left behind. She says, “We will continue to offer mortgages for all EPC Tiers, but we will seek clarification from the government on any future plans we have to introduce an exemptions policy in order to ensure that we are responsible lending on properties with lower EPCs.” 

The mortgage industry is also concerned because many homes won’t have an EPC or they will be outdated. This is because EPC certificates are valid for ten years and about 50 percent of homes in the country are not mortgage-free. 


Despite the Government’s lofty goals, homes that are poorly insulated continue to be added to the housing stock each day. In a report released by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee in 2019, the Government was criticized for allowing energy-inefficient homes to be built. MPs warned that homes built according to EPC standards may lose their rating if they are sold. 

Labour’s shadow housing minister Lucy Powell stated that it was essential that both consumers and the industry trust the way homes are evaluated for their energy performance. “After scrapping Labour’s zero-carbon homes policy, which would have meant that the 800,000 homes built between 2016 and 2017 were zero-carbon, they have allowed loopholes in the EPC standard to open, and are slowing down on updating the measure. 

A spokesperson for the Government stated that: “Our plans will support homeowners in reducing their energy bills by improving home energy performance. We will increase consumer choice instead of restricting it.” We are working to improve EPCs to make them as accurate and efficient as possible. “To ensure electric heat pump’s cost-effectiveness, we plan to reduce electricity prices over the next decade by shifting electricity levies. 

Affiliate links may appear in some of the links. We may earn a small commission if you click on them. This helps us to fund This Is Money and keeps it free of charge. We don’t write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship affect our editorial independence.