Home Finance Heat pump warning as 3millions homes must have installations this Parliament

Heat pump warning as 3millions homes must have installations this Parliament

According to an analysis, one in 10 households approximately three million homes need to install heat pumps or other low carbon heating during this parliament to meet climate targets.

Innovation charity Nesta has released a report outlining a plan for the new Government to boost clean heating, which it claims could save the average family switching to a heat pump £400 a year on their energy bills.

Nesta highlights that with homes contributing 14% of the UK’s greenhouse gases, meeting targets to cut emissions to end the UK’s contribution to climate change cannot be achieved without decarbonising heating.

The report by Nesta found that the UK installed only an estimated 250,000 heat pumps between 2020-2024, while 25.5 million homes still use oil or gas boilers.

It warns that policy U-turns and delays by the previous government such as scrapping higher energy efficiency standards for landlords and delaying the phase-out of boilers in off-grid homes have left the UK around 15 percent short of the emissions savings from homes needed to meet climate targets.

Nesta stated that some three million households or one in 10 need to switch to heat pumps and other low-carbon heating systems such as district heating over the life of this Parliament.

This would require a 12-fold increase in installations compared to the last five years, according to the charity.

The report recommends a series of actions the Government should take to get back on track, with priorities for the first 100 days including rebalancing energy bills.

This would halt the surge in electricity prices caused by green levies compared to gas, ensuring that over their lifespan, electric heat pumps are as cost-effective as gas boilers.

Nesta is also advocating for the creation of a new national body to manage government heating and efficiency programmes, assist local councils with the transition, and initiate pilot schemes for community-based delivery that could enable numerous households in a locality to simultaneously adopt low-carbon heating solutions.

The concept of coordinated community switching might include the installation of communal heating systems like heat networks or other collective initiatives such as bulk purchasing to reduce initial expenses and increase adoption rates.

Moreover, Nesta urges the incoming Government to provide clarity by quickly dismissing hydrogen as an option for domestic heating and specifying targets for phasing out new boiler installations a contentious issue during the election campaign.

According to the charity, if all the proposed policy changes in its report were implemented, a typical household making the switch to a heat pump could see an annual reduction of £400 in energy bills.

It further demands enhanced measures to tackle fuel poverty and insists that social housing and households struggling with fuel costs should receive fully funded installations of low-carbon heating systems.

Madeleine Gabriel, director of sustainable future at Nesta, commented: “The new UK Government will need to reverse the drift away from energy policies that ensured we would meet the UK’s net zero targets.”

“It has inherited a big problem on home heating and will need to take urgent action.”

“The good news is that it is possible to change course on the current approach and much can be accomplished rapidly, including setting out proposals to rebalance energy bills to reduce the relatively high cost of electricity.”

“This would stop people paying an unnecessary premium for going green.”

Report co-author Marcus Shepheard cautioned: “If we get this right the prize is huge and transformative.”

“It means energy security for the country as a whole, and better, warmer homes that are cheaper to run for millions of people.”

Furthermore, Charles Wood, deputy director of the industry body Energy UK, underlined the necessity of a coordinated effort under the new government and agreed with Nesta’s identification of key elements needed for swift low-carbon heat delivery.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero added: “The energy shocks of recent years have shown the urgent need to upgrade British homes and secure our energy independence.”

“Our Warm Homes Plan will support investment in insulation and low carbon heating upgrading millions of homes over this Parliament.”

“By providing £13.2 billion of investment to deliver this plan, we will cut bills, reduce fuel poverty and get the UK back on track to meet our climate goals.”


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