Nowadays, bathhouses are closing one by one due to skyrocketing heating costs, and it is scary to open gas bills in private homes.

As the outcry against the heating bill bomb increased, the government came up with one action after another, focusing only on expanding consumer subsidies.

I can't help but put out the fire in a hurry, but is this right?

Whether it's paid by consumers or the government, it's the burden of the people, and it will entrench our dependence on fossil fuels, which emit greenhouse gases.

On the issue of heating costs, let's look for more eco-friendly and fundamental measures.

A sample house built to be energy-independent had a heating system called a heat pump that ran on electricity instead of a gas or oil boiler.

It is a method of collecting heat existing in the outside air using temperature difference and bringing it to the house, and its greatest strength is that it is 3~4 times more efficient than other electric heating appliances.

[Lee Jung-woo/Principal Researcher, Electronics Company: Heat pump technology is highly efficient because it only uses electricity to collect energy from the surrounding area and move it inside the house.]

The electricity used in the heat pump comes from solar panels installed on the roof, which stores the electricity produced during the day in a household ESS battery and runs it overnight.

In Korea, such houses are still at the experimental level, but they have already been commercialized overseas.

Especially in Europe and the United States, which have suffered the worst gas shortages due to the war in Ukraine, heat pump sales last year reached a record high.

[Kim Min-sung/Professor, Department of Energy System Engineering, Chung-Ang University: Europe already has a lot of supply of things like renewable energy and nuclear power, so electricity prices are stable (compared to gas bills). Therefore, there was usually not much hesitation among the public in choosing a heat pump.]

Despite this, heat pumps are still unfamiliar in Korea.

This is due to the preconceived notion that it lacks heat than gas boilers and is not compatible with underfloor heating, but as various technologies are being developed, it is urgent for the government to prepare a system.

Even if you don't change the energy source itself, like a heat pump, you can still improve energy efficiency by preventing heat leaking into your existing home.

The biggest culprit of leaky heating bills is older homes built without energy efficiency considerations, and these older homes that are more than 30 years old account for half of all households.

As the cost of tearing down and building a new one has significant side effects such as construction waste, green remodeling to prevent leaking heat is an alternative.

Simply replacing windows, insulation and finishes can significantly increase energy efficiency.

[Ahn Chung-won/Director of Green Remodeling Center for Land Management and Security Agency: First of all, the phenomenon of obsolescence appears in the windows. (Green remodeling) is typically used with triple-glazed glass. It is said to save about 30% energy.]

The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, the IRA, we know it as a trade barrier that the U.S. has put in place to protect its industry, but that's not all.

Because the Future Energy Transition to Combat the Climate Crisis is part of the law, both the heat pumps you just saw and home insulation improvements are funded through IRAs in the U.S., up to $8,000.

What about us? There is no support for installing heat pumps.

The budget for green remodeling support was also reduced by 10 billion won from last year, and support was increased only to subsidize gas bills.

It is urgent to reconsider whether we are going backwards in the era of heating costs and the climate crisis.

(Planning: Lee Ho-gun, Composition: Kim Tae-yeon, Video Interview: Kim Kyun-jong, Kim Won-bae, Jeon Kyung-bae, Park Hyun-chul, Video editing: Lee Seung-hee, CG: Seo Seung-hyun, Eom So-min, Im Chan-hyuk)