Heat and Buildings Strategy welcomed

There has been positive reaction to the Government’s long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy which will see householders in England and Wales offered a grant of £5,000 towards the cost of low-carbon heating such as heat pumps.

 

The Strategy has unveiled phased out dates for the installation of fossil fuel heating, increased funding support for households purchasing heat pumps, and the rebalancing of environmental levies on electricity, all of which will be vital to growing the heat pump market and reducing emissions from our homes.

Phil Hurley, chair of the Heat Pump Association (HPA), said: ‘The heat pump industry warmly welcomes these bold steps forward. The industry in the best shape it has ever been, with sales this year already double those seen ever before.

‘This announcement is timed perfectly to take advantage of the HPA’s recently-launched training course, with the industry now ready to retrain the UK’s army of installers with the capacity to train up to 40,000 per year, to ensure consumers can find a suitably trained and skilled heat pump installer when they need one.

‘Today’s announcement will give industry and installers a huge confidence boost that now is the time to scale-up and retrain in preparation for the mass roll out of heat pumps, as well as making heat pumps as affordable as boilers, so all consumers can soon access and enjoy the benefits of affordable, reliable low carbon heating that stands the test of time.

Laura Bishop, chair of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) said: ‘The GSHPA warmly welcomes the release of the Heat and Buildings Strategy. We look forward to a consistent policy environment which will drive growth in our sector and the UK economy on the path towards achieving Net Zero.

‘Ground source heat pumps represent a long-term infrastructure asset which delivers unrivalled efficiencies in generating clean heat, and we hope the policy will underpin the mass market roll out we have been anticipating for some time.

Shaun Edwards, chief executive, Groupe Atlantic UK, ROI & North America, said: ‘Ideal Heating welcomes the publication of the Heat and Buildings strategy and the continued support from the UK government to low carbon heating systems, particularly heat pumps. As a manufacturer of multiple heating technologies including heat pumps, we feel we are in an excellent position to support our customers as the market transitions to lower carbon heating solutions.

‘This commitment from the UK government allows Ideal Heating to continue investment in UK heat pump R&D facilities and skills, as well as additional manufacturing capacity, ensuring we meet the specific demands of UK homes and installers whilst strengthening the local supply chain.’

Chief executive of E.ON UK Michael Lewis said: ‘With the right policy framework in place, we’re confident the cost of a heat pump can be reduced by up to half over the coming years. We welcome proposals in the Heat and Buildings Strategy which are designed to tackle this issue head-on, making the green option the default option. Once we have mass demand, commercial innovation in installation and economies of scale will take over to reduce costs and give customers greater confidence in what is already a tried and trusted technology for many around the world.

Chief executive of EDF Energy UK Simone Rossi said: ‘Moving away from fossil fuel heating to electric heat pumps will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of our homes and could also protect consumers from future spikes in wholesale gas prices.

‘It’s great to see the Government backing heat pumps and announcing new policies to increase demand and develop supply chains. These actions will help drive down the cost of heat pumps and enable many more households to make the switch. EDF already offer heat pumps to customers and we look forward to using our experience to help even more people transition.

Chief executive of Scottish Power Keith Anderson said: ‘Decarbonising heat is our toughest challenge on the road to Net Zero. With some 23 million UK homes to be converted to low carbon heating by 2050 we need to urgently support the delivery of proven zero carbon technologies, like heat pumps. Deploying heat pumps at scale will drive costs down dramatically over time, and will create wider economic benefits by promoting the UK supply chain and new skilled jobs.

‘This is where the scale and ambition of the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme will be invaluable. Ready access to support grants will kick-start the demand for electric heating, allowing the industry to accelerate the delivery of electrification and quickly bring down upfront costs through innovation and growing the supply chain. Other policies will also be needed to address distortions in energy bill costs and create a level playing field between a heat pump and a gas boiler.

‘By the end of the decade, with the right policies in place, the combined initial and ongoing costs of a heat pump can be as cheap as a gas boiler.

Adrian Letts, chief executive of OVO, said: ‘The Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy is a hugely important step forward. With the right policies in place to support households and greater deployment, we are confident that heat pump costs can reach cost parity with gas boilers by 2030. There is still a huge challenge ahead, so business and government need to work together to ensure no one is left behind in the transition to zero carbon living.’

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