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The Great British Home Heating Survey

3rd Nov 2021

New survey uncovers what Brits really think about decarbonising their heating

The UK's largest home heating survey has revealed that the majority of UK homeowners will not be applying for the government’s £5000 heat pump grant and 43% do not support a ban on gas boilers.

The Great British Home Heating Survey of 18,000 customers conducted by us here at Boiler Guide saw 51% of respondents state that they will not be applying for the £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme, set out in the government's flagship Heat and Buildings Strategy.

Hands off our boilers

We also asked if customers supported an outright ban on gas boilers. 43.4% do not back a ban, while 24.54% or those surveyed are in favour. 31.97% were unsure or had not thought about it.


When asked, "What's putting you off renewable heating systems"? 54.37% of people pointed to the  "Cost to install" followed by 17.83% judging a heat pump and other renewable systems 'Unsuitable for my property.' A lack of available space is also a concern for homeowners, garnering 14.97% of responses.

77% of those surveyed said that the government should provide more financial help to decarbonise heating.

Boiler Guide founder David Holmes said:

"The data we have gathered points to general public support for decarbonising heating, but it is clear that the vast majority of homeowners think the government should be offering more financial incentives and support. 

He added:

"Most people are aware that the £5000 grant will not come close to the true cost of the installation of a heat pump, this, alongside the fact that heat pumps may not be suitable for millions of homes, is clearly not lost on the public."

Alternatives to gas boilers

While a majority of those surveyed believe heat pumps are a good alternative to gas boilers (33% compared to 26.28% who don't), 51% have not yet considered replacing their existing system with a renewable alternative. 35.63% have, while 12.66% haven't thought about it at all.

Heat pumps do come out on top when it comes to the most considered renewable heating systems with 46.2% stating that a heat pump would be first choice. Solar panels (31.34%) and electric boilers (17.6%) also feature in the poll of 18,000 homeowners.

How much?

Customers were also asked how much they would be willing to pay to decarbonise their home’s heating. 37.42% said between £1 – £2,999, while 33.96% stated that they would not spend anything. 18.6% responded with £3,000 – £5,999, 6.5% would stretch to £6,000-£9,999.  3.46% of those surveyed are willing to pay over £10,000 to go green at home.

David Holmes said:

"It is unsurprising to see that the majority of customers are happy to pay for a renewable system if the price is comparable with a new gas boiler. The reality, however, is that the costs of heat pumps and solar installations will usually exceed £10,000 and it seems there is little public appetite or ability to invest such large sums of money to replace a system they are happy with".

No-Go for Net Zero?

As world leaders meet in Glasgow for the COP26 agreement, we also asked customers if they believe the UK can achieve net-zero targets. Just 31.55% of those surveyed think that the "UK can reach carbon net zero by 2050" compared to 68.45% who think this won't happen.

One of those surveyed said: "It's too expensive for the average person to replace gas boilers" while another commented: "When people see other countries refusing to make sacrifices and making no effort to bring down their use of coal etc – they will refuse to comply."



About the author


Tom has lots of experience and expertise writing about renewable and eco-friendly heating systems. He also spends time researching what the future of home heating may look like. If you are looking for advice on saving energy and reducing customers carbon emissions, Tom will have the answers.

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