This week I attended the meeting of the Rural Services All Party Parliamentary Group to discuss off-grid heating in rural areas.
I know decarbonisation of off-grid heating is an important issue locally. Having looked into the cost and challenges of installing a heat pump or air pump, I know how expensive this technology still is – particularly for older homes, less well insulated homes or those that are listed. This is despite the grants that are available.
I was pleased to be able to raise a number of points with a Minister from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy during the meeting – particularly the gap in the percentage of homes the government believes are suitable for heat pumps and what other studies have shown and the fact we are being treated less fairly than other areas when we produce much of the nation’s energy.
I also pressed the Minister on what other technologies are being looked at, including bio-fuels and hybrid approaches.
It is important that a sensible and fair transition away from fossil fuel heating is achieved for rural areas like ours and this is something I will continue to work on.