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U.K. Heat-Pump Plan Risks Driving Up Bills for Drafty Homes

  • Johnson touts heat pumps to wean households off gas boilers
  • But the technology is only effective in well-insulated homes
Engineers work on installing a heat pump at an R&D centre in Slough, U.K.

Engineers work on installing a heat pump at an R&D centre in Slough, U.K.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
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A U.K. plan to accelerate the rollout of low-carbon heat pumps risks pushing up energy bills if funding isn’t given to improve drafty homes.

The government is touting heat-pump technology to wean households off gas boilers, but it’s expensive and only effective in well-insulated buildings. With Britain’s housing stock responsible for about a fifth of its greenhouse gases, improvements will be needed if planned emission cuts are to be achieved.