The report stresses the urgent need to increase the installation of heat pumps across the UK. As a proven technology that can immediately reduce carbon emissions from homes, heat pumps must be part of the transition to net zero.
However, to enable this increased uptake, the government must take advantage of the upcoming policy decisions that can be made in the near future to encourage the deployment of heat pumps and begin the process of heat decarbonisation.
It is recognised that meeting the net zero target will be challenging but the heat pump sector is ready to scale up and support the delivery of low carbon heating solutions to homes and businesses. The sector has come together to ensure that the consumer is at the heart of the energy transition.
To ensure that this is achieved, the report highlights the need for a comprehensive training curriculum to upskill installers so that they are able to advise consumers on the benefits of heat pumps. NIBE Energy Systems will work with industry partners and installers to ensure that there are courses and support available to enable the current workforce and the next generation of installers to meet the demands of a net zero future.
The report calls for 10 policy changes to enable increased deployment of heat pumps. These policy changes will ensure that homes are future-proofed and the benefits of heat pumps are recognised by developers and property owners as well as occupants. They also include the introduction of incentives to increase adoption by addressing the upfront cost associated with a heat pump installation and removing some of the barriers to deployment.
- Set maximum flow temperature of 55 degrees Celsius in heating system installations in new build and retrofit
- Ensure the delivery of the Future Homes Standard in 2025
- End the ‘freezing’ of Building Regulations by closing current loopholes
- Significantly tighten the Energy Efficiency Requirements in the 2020 Building Regulations
- Ensure new builds have suitable electricity supply connections
- Require the installation of hot water cylinders in new builds
- Revise permitted volume for outdoor units (Permitted Planning)
- Establish a trajectory for an emissions standard for delivered heat
- Introduce an RHI successor scheme using an upfront financial incentive
- Rebalance the taxes placed on electricity and gas to reflect carbon content
Phil Hurley, managing director of NIBE Energy Systems and vice chair of the Heat Pump Association, said: “Collaboration across industry and government is key to achieving the UK’s net zero objectives. The publication of the HPA’s report today is a reaction to the urgency of addressing climate change and the need to substantially lower emissions from homes.
“This report emphasises the key role installers will play in the transition, the need to make it easier for households to make the switch to low carbon heating systems and calls for standards to be tightened to future proof our buildings.
“As an industry, we are ready and willing to meet the challenge with a proven and established technology, however a supportive policy framework and regulatory regime is needed to ensure that we take advantage of this renewable, low carbon heat source.”