Heat-pump industry calls for regulatory reform to decarbonise

heat pumps, renewable energy
Pushing the case for heat pumps — John Kellett.

Leading heat-pump manufacturers and installers in the UK have jointly set out a vision detailing how industry and Government can radically decarbonise residential heating by 2050. John Kellett, general manager of Mitsubishi Electric’s domestic-heating division, one of the sponsors of a report written by Ecuity Consulting LLP, says, ‘The current regulatory environment remains a source of uncertainty for the sector, yet we have eight leading heat-pump companies ready and willing to work with Government to develop a solid regulatory plan that will allow heat pumps to move beyond subsidy by the end of this decade.’

Fewer than15 000 domestic heat pumps are currently installed annually, yet the important role the technology can play in reducing carbon emissions has already been recognised in the Government’s ‘Carbon plan’ and ‘Heat strategy’.

In the report, the UK’s leading manufacturers and installers of heat pumps have come together to express strong support for the role identified for heat pumps as a key technology that will enable decarbonisation of heat supply to individual buildings and limit consumer fuel bills.

The group believes that the goals set out by the Committee on Climate Change in the ‘4th carbon budget’ to deploy around 2.6 million domestic heat pumps by 2025, rising to 6.8 million by 2030, are both essential and realistic.

John Kellett says, ‘Domestic heat pumps have proved that they can deliver reductions in CO2 emissions and running costs for consumers, and we need Government to develop the long-term strategy and policy framework that helps encourage more take up.’

The report suggests looking into innovative solutions to link the Green Deal with the Renewable Heat Incentive to address the barrier to consumers of lack of up-front capital.

It is also suggested that the noise threshold under Permitted Development Rights be raised from 42 to 45 dB(A) to limit installation complexity.

Another suggestion is reviewing default efficiency values for air-source heat pumps and recognising hybrid heat-pump solutions under the Standard Assessment Procedure to reflect the performance of new products.

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