The government is investing £15 million in technological innovations to make heat pumps cheaper and easier to install.
Air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps are seemingly the government's preferred low-carbon alternative to traditional gas boilers, but concerns have been raised about the cost and how suitable they are for some homes.
Heat pump sales were the lowest in Europe in 2020, according to a report by Cambridge Econometrics, and the £15m funding - which is part of the government’s £60 million Heat Pump Ready programme - is earmarked for solutions to reduce barriers to the rollout of low-carbon technology in homes and businesses across the UK.
The government has set a target of installing 600,000 heat pumps in homes per year by 2028, and ministers hope that by working with the industry it could lead to heat pumps costing the same as fossil fuel boilers to buy and run by 2030. A more imminent target is for cost reductions of 25-50% by 2025.
Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan said: “In light of rising global gas and oil prices, getting low-carbon heating technology into homes is a priority for this government as it will help households ditch the costly fossil fuels that are driving up bills."
How will this new funding be used?
The key objectives of Heat Pump Ready are to:
- Reduce costs and increase the performance of domestic heat pumps
- Minimise disruption in homes during the process of heat pump installation
- Develop financial models that support an increase in heat pump deployment.
A total of 24 projects will be supported in England and Scotland as part of the second stream of funding from the Heat Pump Ready programme, which was first announced as part of the Heat & Buildings Strategy.
These include a project in Thame in Oxfordshire looking at ways to reduce the costs of installing and running a heat pump, and a scheme in Truro, Cornwall that is looking to develop efficient and ecological refrigerants that are used in heat pumps.
The funding will be issued alongside the government's Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which provides grants of up to £6,000 towards the cost of installing a heat pump.
Lord Callanan added: “Heat pumps are a proven, reliable technology that uses cheaper renewable energy produced in the UK. We are already bringing costs down through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and slashing VAT to zero, but by finding innovative ways to make them even cheaper and easier to install, we will help more homes see the benefits even quicker.”
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Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world. As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.