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Majority of rural homes not suitable for heat pumps

Majority of rural homes not suitable for heat pumps

A recent survey revealed the majority of oil technicians customer homes will not be suitable for heat pumps.

Nearly 90% of oil heating technicians have commented in a new survey the majority of their customers homes will not be suitable for heat pumps in their current state.

Why are so many rural homes not currently suitable for heat pumps?


Over 70% of these rural are not insulated well enough for the heat pump to work to a comfortable level.

Age and condition of property

Nearly 70% homes are not suitable due to the age and condition of the property


Nearly 30% of homes would have to replace / install larger radiators due to the current radiators being insufficient to provide enough heat via a heat pump.

This survey was in response to the governments proposal to end oil boilers being installed in homes after 2026. Instead they suggest a heat pump strategy. Its difficult to understand the governments logic regarding pushing heat pumps for rural homes.

Rural homes need to be protected and not treated as a one size fits all approach

Over 65% of oil heated homes are in the lowest EPC band of E, F or G. However the costs are said to be in the region of nearly £13,000 to convert a house to band C from E and nearly £19,000 from bands F and G. These alterations would need to be undertaken prior to even facing the cost of having an air source heat pump installed which is currently between £8,000 – £18,000. A ground source heat pump can be up to £30,000.

Technicians who work in these homes are very concerned at the governments proposed blanket approach and while there are grants available the customer would still have to pay thousands towards the cost of preparing their home for heat pumps and the actual heat pump installation itself.

HVO Bio Fuel provides the answer

The most common reason for a new oil boiler  is following a breakdown.  Oil boiler owners have commented their preferred option is the most cost effective and least disruptive solution.

Oil boiler manufacturers such as Grant have acted without haste, their new boilers are HVO ready. This means depending of the % of bio fuel being blended with kerosene these boilers will only need a slight modification. This is certainly the most cost effective and least disruptive option.

In conjunction with this those who have taken part in trials for a full HVO boiler have noted carbon emissions from the boiler have been reduced by almost 90%! This coupled with no disruption to their daily lives and no high initial costs has placed HVO at the forefront of the many minds.

What do oil technicians think?

When asked about an alternative low carbon solution over 70% of oil technicians said they would support a phased biofuel approach – these renewable liquids such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) would be the preferred. Already over 100 homes have converted to this renewable fuel and have cut their emissions by nearly 90%!

Clearly everyone is supportive of the governments plans to cut emissions for domestic heating, however in order for this to successfully be implemented a fair and pragmatic approach needs to be adopted.

Whilst heat pumps certainly have a role to play there is not a one size fits all approach suitable for such a diverse range of housing stock.

For many of the 1.5 million oil heated homes within the UK the HVO biofuel alternative is very appealing. It has been proved already that HVO is a viable solution so now it is up to the government to provide the policy support.

What next?

If you have any questions on this article or you’re considering a new oil boiler and would like some advice please call our friendly team on 01258 472132 or fill in the enquiry form.

Total Energy Services have a team of experienced oil engineers covering Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. We offer FREE no obligation new oil boiler surveys at your home or via video call. If you would like a quotation please call our office team. Alternatively for an instant online boiler quote click here.



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