South East is keen to go green – and less likely to fall for heat pump myths

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A new poll suggests people in the South East are keen to switch to a cleaner and greener future – and less likely to fall for the myths surrounding one of the most effective solutions.

Renewable electricity company Good Energy commissioned Opinium to survey regional views on a wide range of topics around sustainability.

It found more than half of South East residents polled (56%) agree the UK is not moving fast enough on its climate goals.

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More than half (51%) expect their green behaviours to increase over the next five years and more than half (53%) would consider installing solar panels on their roof – more than two thirds (68%) believe they should be included in all new homes.

Good Energy heat pump customer Paul CullenGood Energy heat pump customer Paul Cullen
Good Energy heat pump customer Paul Cullen

In addition to solar power, one of the best ways for households to cut their carbon emissions and save money is to switch to a heat pump instead of using gas and oil, and the Government has ambitions to install 600,000 a year by 2028.

Grants of £7,500 are available and there are proposals for them to be the default option for all new homes by 2025.

Misinformation can be a major problem though, so the poll also asked questions about how heat pumps operate - and discovered South East residents are less likely to believe some of the most common myths.

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Researchers found 16% wrongly believe a heat pump costs more than gas (the UK average is a shocking 24%), 14% wrongly believe they are louder than a fridge (UK average 23%), 10% wrongly believe they only work in newer homes, (UK average 20%) and 8% wrongly believe they don’t work in the cold (UK average 15%).

All these results were the lowest of the UK regions and nations.

Good Energy has published a myth-busting blog to share the facts - Ten myths around air source heat pumps busted.

Good Energy chief executive Nigel Pocklington said: “It’s great to see the South East wants to see faster action on climate goals, and people are increasingly motivated to adopt greener lifestyles.

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“It’s also important to recognise the region is less likely to fall for some of the most common myths and misinformation around heat pumps, which are among the simplest solutions to moving away from polluting and expensive fossil fuels.

“We hope this polling will encourage people to look at the facts and realise this proven technology is one of the most effective ways for individual households to play their part in tackling the climate crisis – while also saving money.”

Paul and Anne Cullen, from Banbury, previously used an oil-fired boiler which was so expensive they could only afford to warm a few rooms of the house, and they dreaded getting up in the mornings during the winter. They replaced it with a Good Energy heat pump in 2021.

Paul said: “It’s made an amazing difference. Our home is now permanently comfortable and it’s a pleasure to live in.

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“Some of our neighbours were worried about the noise from a heat pump when we told them we were having one installed, but it’s so quiet.

“It’s also important for the future of the planet. We’re no longer using polluting fossil fuels – we're using electricity which is increasingly being generated by renewables instead.”

Good Energy boasts a 100% renewable energy mix which includes wind, solar and hydroelectric projects, and now installs heat pumps and solar panels too.