Driving the UK’s Heat Pump Revolution

Charlotte Lee
CEO of the Heat Pump Association

The Heat Pump Association’s (HPA) mission is to provide a dedicated voice for the UK Heat Pump sector, driving widespread deployment of heat pump technology throughout the UK. With the UK’s 2050 net-zero emissions target and the heating sector’s substantial carbon contribution in mind, the HPA’s new report reveals challenges in accelerating heat pump deployment.

Charlotte Lee, CEO of the Heat Pump Association

As the UK aims to decarbonise millions of homes and buildings over the next 25 years, heat pumps will emerge as a leading solution, offering efficiency rates over three times higher than fossil fuel boilers and the potential to reduce heating emissions by up to 75%. However, unlocking this potential requires comprehensive policy interventions.

While some European counterparts experience significant heat pump market growth, the UK lags behind. The Climate Change Committee warns of the UK deviating from its 2028 target of 600,000 annual installations, demanding a tenfold increase in the next five years. The existing policy framework falls short, requiring a robust approach to surmount growth barriers.

HPA’s Recommendations:

  • Reducing Upfront Costs: The HPA proposes optimising existing schemes, extending VAT relief, and introducing interest-free loans for enhanced accessibility and affordability.
  • Reducing Running Costs: The HPA advocates for rebalancing policy costs, introducing interim heat pump electricity tariffs, and implementing routine practices for heating system installations.
  • Growing the Installer Workforce: Achieving the annual installation target demands a skilled workforce. The HPA recommends monitoring the Heat Training Grant, making low-temperature heating training mandatory, and introducing initiatives for workforce growth.
  • Encouraging New Entrants: We emphasise promoting the Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship and addressing uncertainties to attract new entrants.
  • Improving Confidence: Administrative hurdles and consumer confusion impede progress. The HPA recommends timely implementation of RdSAP 10.2, reviewing Permitted Development Rights, streamlining grid connections, and redesigning Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
  • Heat Networks and Heat Pump Networks: The HPA supports continued funding for heat network decarbonisation, including reforms to funding schemes, support for ground source heat pump infrastructure, and incorporating Local Area Energy Plans.
  • Improving Market Drivers: Wider regulatory support is crucial. The HPA calls for long-term certainty through the publication of the Future Homes and Building Standard and a firm date to phase out fossil fuel boilers.
  • Investment in Innovation: The HPA recommend maintaining strict testing criteria, introducing the Smart Heat Pumps Mandate, and increasing funding for the Heat Pump Investment Accelerator Competition.

The HPA’s report provides a detailed roadmap for unlocking widescale heat pump deployment in the UK. By addressing barriers, implementing robust policies, and fostering innovation, the UK can reach its ambitious targets. Read the full report, executive summary, and policy recommendations here.

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