Worcester Bosch has challenged a report which recommended homes use heat pumps instead of mains gas.

The Committee on Climate Change, an independent public body that advises the government about climate change, has proposed this as a way of lowering homes’ carbon emissions.

But Neil Schofield (pictured), Head of Government Affairs, said as not enough homes have the insulation required to make the proposal feasible.

A heat pump works at a lower temperature than a boiler, so it will only heat a house that has sufficient insulation.

The heating products manufacturer examined Energy Performance Certificate figures published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and found less than 12% of the 640,536 properties without access to the mains gas network have an EPC rated C or above. A rating of D or below makes a property unsuitable to be heated by a heat pump. This means that more than 550,000 are not insulated enough to allow a heat pump to be installed.

Schofield said: “The heating industry has long held doubts over the government’s plans for those in off mains gas areas, but these numbers really do emphasise just how flawed that ambition is, and how impractical heat pumps are as a truly viable alternative to an oil boiler.

“A heat pump can offer numerous benefits for those living in new build or well-insulated properties, but 88% of the homes without access to the mains gas network simply don’t fit into either of those categories.

“All the evidence suggests that the best way for us to decarbonise heat from rural homes is to use reduced carbon fuel alternatives. Turning to fuels such as Bio-Kerosene, biopropane, or even hydrogenated vegetable oil, would allow us to continue to rely on the boilers that so many homeowners are familiar with - focusing our efforts on replacing old, inefficient oil boilers with new, and high-efficiency condensing models.”