Energy patriotism is the way to break import dependency

New analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has established how much of a role electric heat pumps, insulation and EVs could play in breaking the UK’s dependency on imported energy. 

They have found that homes with electric heat pumps, good insulation and EVs use less than half of the imported energy than a household reliant on gas and petrol does. With solar added to the mix, this figure improves even further.

gray pipe on green grassEnergy security has been thrown into sharp focus by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ECIU report reveals how dependent the UK actually is on importing the energy it typically needs. The fact that the contribution of North Sea oil is declining means this dependency is likely to increase. 

ECIU analysed household energy demand for households from those using a gas boiler and petrol car to homes using an electric heat pump and an electric car. 

Nearly 70% of the energy used by the gas boiler /petrol car  household will need to be imported, while a well insulated home (to EPC C standards), using a heat pump and driving an electric car will use less than half that amount of imported energy.

  • Household using a gas boiler and petrol car:  17 megawatt hours a year.
  • A home insulated to EPC C standards, using a heat pump and an electric car:  7.5 megawatt hours a year.
  • As above, with solar panels: 6 megawatt hours a year.

Commenting on the analysis, Jess Ralston, Energy Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit said: ‘Those who want to be ‘energy patriotic’ and buy British homegrown energy should be switching from gas boilers and petrol cars to electric heat pumps and EVs that increasingly run on British wind and solar energy.

‘As North Sea oil and gas output continues its inevitable decline, the dependence on foreign imports for households using boilers and internal combustion cars will only become more stark.

‘Generating more British renewable energy and using it to power heat pumps and electric cars would get households, and the UK as a whole, off energy imports and remove the risk of the kind of price volatility we’ve seen in recent years.

‘The Government has increased the grant for heat pumps, but then cut other policy under intense lobbying pressure from gas boiler manufacturers which likely means fewer heat pumps sold, leaving households and the UK more dependent on foreign gas.’


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