Heat pump systems make up two-thirds of home improvement enquiries made by homeowners to installers since the Green Homes Grant launched, new research shows.
Heat pumps provide energy which can help homeowners save money on energy bills. Installing a heat pump on the Green Homes Grant (and renewable improvements including biomass boilers and solar thermal) must be undertaken by tradespeople accredited with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), the national standards organisation for renewables.
In researching homeowners’ intentions when applying for the scheme, MCS has discovered that enquiries for heat pumps are surging. Of all the enquiries made to MCS-certified installers since the Green Homes Grant launched in September, 66% have been about heat pumps.
The findings, which follow an MCS survey of its installers, also revealed that 75% of installers have received up to 25 calls per day relating to the Green Homes Grant.
Ian Rippin, chief executive officer of MCS, commented: “Our latest survey shows that consumer interest in heat pumps and other forms of renewable energy technology has never been higher, thanks to the Green Homes Grant."
More Heat Pump Systems Installers Are Needed
The Green Homes Grant was extended earlier this month, a decision which was very well received by MCS, which had raised concerns that there would not be enough installers available to meet demand before the initial deadline of 31 March 2021 (the deadline is now 31 March 2022).
But, despite its relief at the announcement, MCS says that more now needs to be done to support tradespeople to help them work on the grant.
Rippin added: “As we’ve stressed before, the Green Homes Grant is a step in the right direction in terms of policy, and this longer-term commitment to home-grown energy from the government will help move us closer to net zero, but it is vitally important that we also support skills and training for the sector.
“This announcement underlines the importance and need for competent installers who can deliver solutions that are right for consumers’ premises.”
‘Doomed to Failure’
Alongside the announcement of the grant’s extension, the government also confirmed that 600,000 heat pumps will be installed in UK homes every year by 2028.
While the announcement was widely praised, this rollout faces several challenges, industry experts say. What’s more, consumer advice specialists at The Heating Hub warn the plan is “doomed to failure” without a substantial increase in training for installers.
“Without a step-change in the way the workforce is trained, there seems little doubt that the Government’s policy is doomed to failure,” warns Jo Alsop, founder of The Heating Hub.
“There simply won’t be a sufficient number of qualified engineers to install such a high volume of heat pumps within the next six to seven years and the heat pumps that do get installed won’t meet their label efficiencies.”
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