Heat pumps come with huge hidden costs that could cost Britons thousands

Heat pump

Heat pumps have become increasingly popular across the UK

Dan Falvey

By Dan Falvey

Published: 23/09/2023

- 15:29

Households have been caught out when calling emergency workers for help

Owners of heat pumps have been warned of huge hidden costs that they risk taking on when switching to the eco-friendly heat source.

Households risk huge bills for emergency repairs to the pumps if anything goes wrong with them due to issues surrounding insurance.

New research has found that as many as one in four home emergency insurance deals do not include covering electrical central heating systems- but would cover traditional gas boilers.

It has left some Britons calling out emergency workmen to help restore their heating only to find out they will have to pay for the work themselves.

WATCH: Sunak's climate policy overhaul

Angela Pilley, a home insurance expert at Defaqto, said: "It is not currently clear in all policy wordings whether ground source heat pumps are classified under the definition of 'electric heating system,' so it certainly should not be assumed that this is the case.

"If a consumer is looking to change or upgrade their heating system then it is essential that they check with the home emergency provider to see if cover would be in place for these types of heating systems."

Wording of policies is also said to be vague making it hard to be certain if heat pumps are excluded.

It has led some people being forced to turn to the Financial Ombudsman Service for help, according to This Is Money.

Pilley added: "We are seeing policy wordings develop to more clearly include or exclude these modern heating systems, but as this is not yet the case with all providers, consumers need to double check to be certain."

Increased pressure has been placed on Britons to switch to a heat pump in recent years in line with the Government's net zero policies.

Originally there was due to be a ban on gas boilers for new properties from 2025.

That deadline was pushed back to 2035 earlier this week by Rishi Sunak as he warned the Government's approach to net zero risked heaping extra costs on the public.

Britons have found themselves unexpectedly picking up extra costs


Making the announcement, he said: "This is about doing what’s right for the country in the long term."

He added: "As Prime Minister, I’ve got an opportunity to change things and what I don’t want to do is make yet more short-term decisions, easy ways out and ultimately not be straight with the country about what those mean for them."

However, as well as the delay on the new build ban, the Prime Minister also increased the amount of money available to households as a grant for switching to heat pumps.

The value of the Government Boiler Upgrade Scheme's grants was increased from £6,000 to £7,500.

You may like