Anywhere Gas Can Work, Heat Pumps Can Work: Rendesco Challenges Myths on Clean Heating

Blog based on an article: ‘Anywhere gas can work, heat pumps can work’: Busting clean heat myths with Rendesco by Michael Holder which appeared in Business Green on 10/01/24.


Rendesco has kicked off 2024 with a great feature piece and interview with our founder & CEO, Alastair Murray, in Business Green where he sets out a simple fact: "Anywhere gas can work, heat pumps can work."


Speaking in his interview, Alastair reasserted Rendesco’s core belief that electrified heat is the only solution to decarbonising Britain’s homes and buildings of the past and the future.  


Looking at the projects Rendesco is working on at Oxford University, the piece set out to do just that. As part of the University’s decarbonisation plans, Rendesco has installed ground source heat pump systems at New College and Brasenose Colleges, showcasing the adaptability of heat pumps in even the oldest and most architecturally sensitive buildings. It also underscores the inaccuracies in the Prime Minister's statements from last Autumn, where he asserted that heat pumps “won't work in all homes.”


One prevalent myth revolves around the belief that heat pumps will never be suitable for old buildings which lack the necessary insulation to make heat pumps an affordable source of heat and hot water. In the interview Alastair robustly debunked this myth, emphasising that the cost-effectiveness of heat pumps relies more on energy pricing than insulation, with successive governments enacting policies which essentially makes gas cheaper at the expense of electricity. However, as he points out, this is set to reverse in the coming years as the UK transitions into a carbon-neutral economy. The more people who switch to electrified heat, the cheaper it will become to run, and the more expensive (and unviable) gas networks will become.


Furthermore, from drilling boreholes around historic Brasenose College to installing ground source heat pumps at New College, Rendesco proves that these systems can effectively provide clean heating and cooling to some of our oldest buildings now, while simultaneously preserving the architectural integrity of the buildings.


The success of these projects across Oxford University underline show viable ground source heat pumps and heat networks are as a heat source for projects of all shapes and sizes. Couple this with our groundbreaking ownership model, which removes virtually all upfront costs to developers, then the case for clean heat networks as a means for decarbonising Britain's’ current and future housing stock becomes undeniable.


With projects of entirely difference sizes and circumstances opting to commit to heat networks and electrified heat in general, the upcoming year looks bright for Rendesco and the wider sector. As Business Green rightly points out, the Government has recommitted to the Future Homes Standard and has officially launched the consultation, which is set to ban all gas and hybrid boilers in new build homes from 2025. This alongside our £150 million+ pipeline being developed with Last Mile Heat to expand ground-source heat pump installations in new housing developments leaves us feeling increasingly optimistic about our growth prospects for the year ahead.


Alastair rightly predicts a turning point in the broader adoption of heat pumps and other electrified heat solutions, but in doing so makes clear the importance of continuing to dismantle and dispel any myths and misconceptions which threaten to undermine this transition away from fossil-fuel heating.

You can read the full interview and feature piece on Business Green here.

*Image credit: Business Green