December brought us the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) Sixth Carbon Budget, which calls for a 78% reduction in emissions between 1990 and 2035. It also sets out the world’s first pathway to a fully decarbonised economy, tackling all sectors, with a specific target for a building emissions reduction of 45%-65% by 2035.
Good news for heat pumps
In its report, the CCC has recommended that the heat pump market is scaled up over the next 10-15 years, in advance of a phase out of fossil fuel-fired boiler installations in 2033. By 2030, heat pump installations will need to reach over 1 million per year in new and existing homes.
Phil Hurley, managing director at NIBE Energy Systems, said:
“Today’s Sixth Carbon Budget provides the Government with the route map it needs to develop its policy pathway to net zero. It is critical that this is provided as soon as possible to provide certainty and direction to industry. Installers and the wider supply chain are key to delivering on these recommendations; this must be recognised and acknowledged with urgency.
“We have already seen some positive announcements from government in recent months, including the target to deploy 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028, and [to achieve] an emissions reduction of 68%. Today’s Budget sends a signal, however, that more must be done.”
Laura Bishop, chair of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association said:
“There is a huge amount of content in the CCC’s report to gladden the hearts of the heat pump sector, with an ever stronger emphasis on the dominant role that electrification will play for heat in buildings.”
“It is essential that the Government sets a clear commitment to electrification through the 2020s, including a stable and long-term support framework to build the heat pump supply chain to sufficient scale to deliver near-term emissions reductions and keep full electrification on the table.”
Bean Beanland of the Heat Pump Federation said:
“The unambiguous identification of the required high level policy package is exactly what is needed for the heat pump industry to deliver against the ambitious political intent set out in the Prime Minister’s recent 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.”
“There is much to do, and we need to get moving. We need clear signals and direction from the Government on the critical role for electrification, and steps to be taken to make low-carbon financially attractive – with recognition of the electricity/gas spark-gap, the value of flexible electric loads, targeted incentives and the promotion of green finance.”
It is clear that increased communication and consumer engagement on the transition from gas boilers towards low-carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps, will be crucial. The GSHPA and HPF look forward to working with government to assemble and enact the specific polices required to make the 2020s the decade of electrification, with new employment opportunities and the upskilling of the conventional heating workforce who will be vital in delivering heat decarbonisation across the UK.
A welcome from the NIA
The National Insulation Association (NIA) also welcomed the news, believing that a fabric first approach is essential to reducing emissions from homes and buildings in line with the legislated net zero target.
Derek Horrocks, chairman of the National Insulation Association, said:
“It is brilliant to see the Committee on Climate Change’s Sixth Carbon Budget today. As we leave this difficult year behind us, 2021 represents the start of increased ambition and action. The National Insulation Association is committed to working with policymakers to deliver the right insulation measures to homes across the UK. We look forward to the Government’s response to today’s recommendations in anticipation that we can deepen the necessary partnership to decarbonise UK homes. A long-term strategy accompanied with direct support for high quality household energy efficiency upgrades is essential to build on the momentum now being created.”
As installers, are you prepared for the rapid increase in heat pump installations? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the likelihood of success