Driving towards energy patriotism: How heat pumps and EVs keep it local

  • Heat pumps, insulation, and EVs slash imported fuel use by over half, boosting “energy patriotism” by reducing dependence on foreign fuels.
  • Shifting to these cleaner options not only cuts imported fuel usage but also supports domestic wind and solar energy, strengthening British businesses.
  • Government support for new UK wind farms can further decrease imported energy reliance, with well-insulated homes using significantly less energy, promoting sustainability.

The Role of Heat Pumps and EVs in Localising Energy Consumption

According to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), homes equipped with heat pumps, insulation, and EVs significantly slash imported fuel use by over half compared to those reliant on gas and petrol. These homes are deemed more “energy patriotic” for their diminished dependence on imported fuels.

Switching to heat pumps, insulation, and EVs doesn’t just cut imported fuel usage by over half compared to gas and petrol homes, it also supercharges British energy consumption. The ECIU has urged a shift to these cleaner options to support domestic wind and solar energy, promoting “energy patriotism” and bolstering British businesses.

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Jess Ralston, energy analyst at the ECIU, commented: 

“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.”

The think tank has urged the government to step up by championing contracts for new UK wind farms, making British energy more accessible. Their analysis reveals that a typical household, with a gas boiler, petrol car, and average electricity consumption, imports about 70% of its energy needs, mainly gas and oil, totaling nearly 17 megawatt hours (MWh) annually.

In contrast, a well-insulated home with a heat pump and electric car uses significantly less imported energy, around 45%, totalling approximately 7.5 MWh per year. This decrease is primarily due to reduced gas consumption for electricity generation. Additionally, homes equipped with solar panels only utilise about a third, or 36%, of the fuel imports of an average home, amounting to just 6 MWh annually, according to the analysis.

A spokesperson for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said:

“Nearly half of all homes in England now have an EPC rating of C or above, up from just 14% in 2010, and we’re supporting families make the switch to heat pumps, rather than forcing them, with our £7,500 heat pump grant, one of the most generous schemes in Europe.”

By embracing heat pumps and EVs, we’re not just reducing imported fuel usage – we’re bolstering British energy resilience. With government support for new UK wind farms and incentives for energy-efficient technologies, we’re driving towards a more sustainable and self-sufficient energy future.

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