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The committee's report says the new carbon deal will require that heat pumps will have had to be installed in 2.6m homes by 2025. It also says that by the same date 31% of new cars, and 14% of those on the road overall, will be electric. Experts say a total of £16bn of investment will be needed every year to meet the commitment. Some of this money will be raised through increases in electricity prices.
The deal was hammered out after tense arguments between ministers who had disagreed over whether the ambitious plans to switch to more green energy were affordable. The row had pitted the energy secretary, Chris Huhne, who strongly backed the plans, against the chancellor, George Osborne, and the business secretary, Vince Cable, who were concerned about the cost and potential impact on the economy.
"Recent figures have shown that around 300,000 people in Northern Ireland are struggling to keep their houses warm," he said. "It's very bad news for health. Around 1,000 people have died in the last two winters because of cold related illnesses.
But more specific accusations of profiteering and price manipulation during the long European cold snap arose in the first week of January. Heating oil customers who use boilerjuice.com complained that, contrary to the site’s pledge to provide users with the “cheapest available price” in their area, the site delivered them hugely inflated prices during and after December’s blizzards. The Office of Fair Trading is now looking into the accusations leveled at boilerjuice.
The committee's report says the new carbon deal will require that heat pumps will have had to be installed in 2.6m homes by 2025
When comparing the performance of heat pumps, it is best to avoid the word "efficiency" which has a very specific thermodynamic definition. The term coefficient of performance (COP) is used to describe the ratio of useful heat movement to work input. Most vapor-compression heat pumps utilize electrically powered motors for their work input. However, in most vehicle applications, shaft work, via their internal combustion engines, provide the needed work.
When used for heating a building on a mild day of say 10 °C, a typical air-source heat pump has a COP of 3 to 4, whereas a typical electric resistance heater has a COP of 1.0. That is, one joule of electrical energy will cause a resistance heater to produce one joule of useful heat, while under ideal conditions, one joule of electrical energy can cause a heat pump to move much more than one joule of heat from a cooler place to a warmer place.
Note that the heat pump is more efficient on average in hotter climates than cooler ones, so when the weather is much warmer (in a desert city or southern city) the unit will perform better than average COP. Conversely in cold weather the COP approaches 1. Thus when there is a wide temperature differential between the hot & cold reservoir's the COP is lower (worse).