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European heat pump sales slump prompts call for long term policy certainty

Recent data released by the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) on heat pump sales in 14 European countries shows an overall fall of around 5% in 2023 compared to 2022 figures. This reverses the trend of previous years, where combined sales increased annually.

The dropping sales come as the EU’s Heat Pump Action Plan, due to be published in early 2024 to support the sector, has been delayed by the European Commission until ‘a time to be decided’. In the meantime, changing national policy measures are unsettling investors and consumers.

The UK Heat Pump Association (HPA) calls on the UK Government to take heed of this decline. This downturn is primarily being attributed to policy uncertainty and the disparity is the price between electricity and gas, which are being felt within the UK market too.

'Whilst the UK saw a small but welcome growth of 4% in heat pump sales in 2023 compared to 2022, the latest statistics from the EHPA illustrate the uncertainty surrounding the sector and must act as a wake-up call for all stakeholders involved in the world’s transition to low carbon energy use.' stated the chief executive of the HPA, Charlotte Lee.

“We need clear, consistent and decisive action from Governments across Europe and in the UK to reverse this overall decline, and as highlighted by the EHPA’s report, one of the biggest influencing factors is the price of electricity relative to gas. The lowest carbon heat must be the lowest cost heat to accelerate the transition to electrification.'

Within the HPA’s latest publications, ‘Unlocking Widescale Heat Pump Deployment in the UK’ and its proposal for an ‘Interim Domestic Heat Pump Tariff’, a series of policy enablers have been outlined to support the accelerated deployment of heat pumps within the UK and include the importance of the Future Homes and Buildings Standards being introduced in 2025, the role that clear fossil fuel phase-out dates have to play, energy rebalancing to reduce the price of electricity relative to gas, planning and grid connection reform along with the need to continue to support the development of a qualified competent installer network.

The HPA remains committed to working closely with the EHPA, UK policy officials and industry partners to accelerate the pathway of decarbonised heat.

 

29 February 2024

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