Environmental Audit Committee launches heat pump enquiry

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has opened an inquiry into heat pump uptake.

To have your say, visit: committees.parliament.uk/work/684/technological-innovations-and-climate-change-heat-pumps

It will look at the following questions:

  • What steps can the Government take to increase uptake of heat pumps?
  • How can we ensure that the regulatory frameworks in place work together to guarantee heat pumps are used in the most effective places, alongside other technological solutions?
  • What steps can be taken to lower heat pump installation costs?
  • What role should gas or hybrid heat pumps play in helping the UK reach the target of net zero emissions by 2050?
  • How can the Government tackle the current skills gap for designers, builders and installers of heat pumps?
  • How can public awareness of heat pumps be improved?

The Committee on Climate Change has said that to meet the commitment to reach net-zero by 2050, 19 million heat pumps will need to be installed and that hybrid heat pumps should be widely used by 2035.

The Prime Minister has recently spoken on the role ground-source heat pumps could play in the ‘green industrial revolution’, and in its report, 80% of Climate Assembly UK members agreed that heat pumps should play a role in getting the UK to net-zero.

However, there are current limitations to rolling out the technology. For example, heat pumps are currently more expensive that conventional options such as gas-fired boilers.

A report, published by the UK Energy Research Centre, highlighted record sales of gas boilers last year, with current rates suggesting it will take 700 years for the UK to move to low-carbon heating. Electrical grids would also need to be significantly expanded to facilitate the extra capacity that electric heat pumps would require.

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