Heat pumps out of reach for many, says National Gas boss

Jon Butterworth, Chief Executive of National Gas, has emphasised the difficulties in heating homes through electrification

Jon Butterworth, Chief Executive of National Gas, has brought attention to the challenges faced by many in heating their homes through electrification.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Butterworth expressed concerns about the accessibility of electrification, believing it may be perceived as a privilege rather than a widespread solution.

The boss of National Gas said: “My personal view is that I worry electrification feels like it’s one for the privileged and that isn’t what our country is about.

“We’ve got to electrify everything that we can. But I struggle to see how you electrify a flat in London with an air source heat pump – I just don’t see how that’s possible.

“The population – decent, hard-working families – need options that are affordable.”

Butterworth argues that affordable alternatives, such as hydrogen-powered boilers, are essential to ensure that electrification does not leave decent, hard-working families behind.

A recent proposal by the Scottish Government to prioritise green heating systems, such as heat pumps, over gas boilers in Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings has encountered objections from a heat pump supplier.

The proposed overhaul of EPC ratings is expected to lower ratings for properties with gas boilers, while those with heat pumps and other alternative heating systems may receive better ratings.

However, Lord Willie Haughey, a heat pump supplier, has raised potential challenges, expressing reservations about the suitability of heat pumps in Scotland‘s cold climate.

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