RURAL households may face average costs of around £20,000 each to fund new green heating systems, says a not for profit trade organisation for home-heating.

Government plans to phase out the installation of fossil fuel heating systems during the 2020s “could cause major problems for cash-strapped rural households,” said Paul Rose, CEO of OFTEC, a trade association for the liquid fuel heating industry.

There are fears that the target would mean forcing household currently using oil heating to buy electric heating systems called heat pumps – they cost between £8,000-£20,000 to install, OFTEC said.

They also claimed that rural properties are among the least energy efficient in Britain, meaning families may have to fork out thousands of pounds on insulation measures.


Mr Rose added: “We firmly support plans to decarbonise home heating, but government’s current thinking is concerning. While policy decisions have yet to be made, heat pumps are the indicated preference.

“Over 95% of oil heated homes in Great Britain fall into EPC bands D to G – meaning they are poorly insulated and so unsuited for heat pumps without costly insulation work.

“Financial support to help the poorest families switch heating systems would most likely be made available but many households will be expected to fund the work themselves. The vast majority just won’t be able to do this.

“Introducing policy which isn’t fit for purpose could have severe consequences. The impact on consumers must be central to discussions on the future of heating, and cost and disruption minimised if support for climate change action is to be forthcoming. This is why we are urging rural voters across Wales to make sure they ask the right questions before casting their vote.”