Heat pumps: more than 80% of households in Great Britain ‘satisfied with system’?

PXL_20230526_182634779 So claims the Graun, h/t Twatter. What the Graun won't do, because they are clown journos who don't understand the concept of sourcing, is link to the study they are relying on. But I digress.

Speaking of digressions: while induction stoves are nice and I personally prefer them to gas, only idiots write things like "Cooking with a gas stove is like smoking indoors". Let's try to retain some connection to reality folks.

So, back to the study (pdf). And we care, because heat pumps are a nice and probably efficient way to electrify us, and reduce our dependence on evil Putingaz. So we'd like people to like them, if possible. But reading the Graun, our radar should be triggered by the phrase "broadly similar levels of satisfaction" compared to conventional heating; and then you notice that the Graun provides no way to compare; well, they don't want you to think for yourself; they'd rather do the thinking for you. So, oh yes as I was saying, back to the study.

You'll immeadiately think of a lot of reasons why this survey can't really be that much use, and you'll be right: those with heat pumps are likely a different demographic to those without; those who have deliberately decided to try this new-fangled tech, ditto; and so on. Interestingly, one problem - that there are more gas boilers - isn't a problem here; they have ~2k heat pump responses and ~1k gas. But if we ignore all those caveats for the moment, and ignore their words, we can look at figs 11 and 12 to compare. Following them (I think) I'll pick the percentage of "very satisfied" + "fairly satisfied" as my Key Metric.

For gas, for the category "hot water", that gets you 94% and for heat pump, 88%. For "space heating", 85% vs 83% (I'm reading these by eye of course so don't complain if I'm a percentage point off). For running costs, 59% vs 67% (Higher levels of satisfaction with running costs are likely to reflect the high efficiency of heat pumps and the high cost of gas during the 2022-2023 cost of living crisis. It may also reflect that heat pump users are on average likely to be more affluent, meaning that costs are less of a concern.). There are other categories; my impression is that gas wins, by a little, more often than not. The report says that Nearly three-quarters (73%) of heat pump users had the same or higher levels of satisfaction with their heat pump compared to their previous heating system but I would place little reliance on that, since anyone who has bothered to switch over is likely motivated. This is supported by fig 14, which shows that people who moved into a property whose previous owner had installed a heat pump where, marginally, net less satisfied than with gas.

So, overall, this is reasonable support for heat pumps not being a disaster area, and generally being about as good as gas.

No comments: