Heat Pump Association point the way ahead for heat pump adoption in the UK

Heat Pump Association have published a report titled ‘Unlocking Widescale Heat Pump Deployment in the UK’ which provides a roundup of their research, analysis, and policy views on the best ways to transition the country to heat pumps and the challenges currently being faced.

Charlotte Lee, the Association’s CEO observes in the report’s foreword: ‘We must acknowledge consumers are having a hard time transitioning to heat pumps and although they are the most cost-effective option to deliver decarbonised heat, it is difficult to ask for people to bear short-term increases in cost at any time, but especially now.

a air conditioner sitting on the side of a building

‘Our industry therefore needs to… find both a narrative and a policy pathway that achieves consumer and installer buy-in to heat pumps, as well as the policy changes needed.’

Barriers to growth – and heat pump installations across the UK must rise ten-fold in six years to hit Government targets – include a dreadful lack of public familiarity with the concept, upfront costs that are still high despite the availability of grants, and running costs that are higher than they need be due to a distortion in relative retail gas and electricity prices.

The report addresses these barriers and discusses the best ways to grow the installation workforce which stands at around 4,500 now, well short of the 50,200 we are expected to need by 203o.

Heat pump networks are described as being likely to play a growing role in heat decarbonisation in the future and the report considers this concept in some detail. Not to be confused with a ‘heat network’ in which hot water – from sources such as data centres or from deep in the ground – is delivered to areas where it required, heat pump networks operate quite differently.

A heat pump network consists of heat pumps in multiple buildings, all connected to a shared ground loop installed under the street. This removes the need for individual homes to have the space for their own ground loop and allows for the shared ground loop to be funded, owned, and maintained, by a third party thus removing the upfront cost to consumers.

This appeals to Tamsin Lishman, CEO of The Kensa Group, who said: ‘This innovative approach, with a heat pump in each home connected to a third-party network in the road, will ensure all homes, from tenements to terraces to tower blocks, are able to access sustainable and affordable heat.

‘Unrolling this technology on a street-by-street basis will require a more strategic approach to that taken to date, but the benefits are clear – lower energy consumption, lower energy bills, and an easier path to net zero. This report sets out that path clearly and Kensa looks forward to working with government and industry partners to make it a reality.’

The full report can be read here


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Geoff Broughton
Geoff Broughton
7 months ago

What about the need to replace existing radiators with larger radiators?

7 months ago

Encouraging, thanks. I still don’t understand the resistance to heat pumps, even by those who can obviously afford one (and yes, I know many cannot …). I suppose it is because they do not look all cosy like a glowing fireplace? But they’ve had some very negative press these last few years and I do wonder who has been behind that. The words “clean heating” ought to be emphasized (provided the electricity comes from a clean and truly renewable source, of course). Far healthier than wood stoves and log burners.

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