The campaign for clean, safe and affordable heating for British homes today.
Together we are pushing for the fastest possible switch to affordable, zero carbon, clean and safe heating for UK homes through the widescale adoption of electric heat pump technology.
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Electrify Heat: Policy Manifesto 2023
The global race towards heat pumps is speeding up – how can we make sure the UK gets on track?
Why do we need to electrify?
Tackling climate change head on
Heating UK households represents 14% of total UK carbon emissions. Moving households away from fossil fuel heating towards clean, low carbon heating will play a vital part in reaching our net zero target and helping the climate.
Heating UK households represent 14% of total UK carbon emissions.
Heating UK households represent 14% of total UK carbon emissions.
As an established technology, heat pumps represent the main way to bring low carbon heat to households across Britain this decade
The most effective and fastest way to bring low carbon heat into homes today is through large scale adoption of electric heat pump technology to replace our carbon emitting fossil gas boilers.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) says electrifying heat should be UK’s main technology for decarbonising buildings
According to the Climate Change Committee 900,000 heat pumps need installing per year by 2028 if we are to reach net-zero by 2050. This does not exclude other solutions such as heat networks or other technologies for households where they are best suited.
UK Government has set the target
The Government has set out its intention to make heat pumps a central feature in decarbonising homes. The Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution states…
"We will aim for 600,000 heat pump installations per year by 2028, creating a market led incentive framework to drive growth, and will bring forward regulations to support this."
Without policy change, incentives and regulation the Government cannot reach this target. Action must be taken now to achieve the Governments net zero targets.
Benefits to households
Heat pumps are healthy
Clean heat pump technologies are non-polluting, unlike gas boilers that emit air pollution – in particular nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2) – which can contribute to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The problem is particularly acute in some cities where gas boilers are responsible for around 20% of air pollution.
Heat pumps are extremely safe and reliable
They do not contain or use gas and there is no risk of gas leaking. Heat pumps are generally more reliable than gas boilers – one in five gas boilers broke down in 2017. Heat pumps have far fewer moving parts, meaning that they break down less often.
Heat pumps are an energy efficient solution
The cost of installing heat pump technology is falling, UK Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng recently said costs could easily fall by 20%, following the European example, while energy supplier Octopus has said costs can halve within 18 months. Heat pumps have a longer life span than a traditional gas boiler and once installed, maintenance costs are also lower.
Tried and tested technology available now
Heat pumps are an established technology already heating homes in Britain and over 40 million homes across Europe. They are a proven technology providing safe, clean and affordable low carbon heating.
Benefits to society
Unlocking £6 billion of green economic growth for the British economy
There is significant potential for UK economic growth through the development of heat pump manufacturing and its supply chain. Government analysis shows that there are no major barriers to increasing domestic production of heat pumps. The UK has a well-established and well-regarded boiler manufacturing industry with over half of all UK boilers domestically produced. This industry could be transitioned to heat pump manufacturing with additional capacity developed to create an export market to Europe and the rest of the world with a ‘Made in the UK’ quality assurance.
Supporting thousands of attractive, high quality green jobs as part of the Green Industrial Revolution
Thousands of future proof manufacturing and installing jobs can be created in the move towards low carbon heat. Transitioning gas boiler installers to heat pump installers could unlock a sustainable green workforce and support a just transition away from dependency on fossil fuels.
Britain can boost its status as global leader in green innovation whilst supporting consumers
Britain has set ambitious decarbonisation targets and has positioned itself as the global leader in decarbonisation. To cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 on the way to net zero by 2050 the UK will need pioneering British businesses delivering green innovations – such as those currently investing in research and development of electrifying heat. So called “smart homes” offer a range of technologies to improve home heating including increased efficiency and lower energy costs, heat pump technology can be at the heart of these developments.
Electrifying heat is good for the planet and tackling climate change
Electrifying heat can reduce overall energy demand as heat pump technology is more efficient and therefore requires less energy than fossil fuel boilers. Heat pumps use naturally generated energy from the earth and the air to heat UK households rather than relying on fossil fuel imports; around 75% of heat pump energy consumption comes from the environment and only 25% from electricity, which is increasingly sourced from clean renewable energy. They are low carbon unlike fossil fuel heating systems like gas boilers and oil.
What is heat pump technology?
A heat pump takes natural heat from either the air or the ground and raises it to a higher temperature using a compressor. The heat is then transferred to your home. It is possible to think of them as refrigerators or air conditioners in reverse.
How do we Electrify Heat today?
The Climate Change Committee and UK Government say electrification of heat through heat pump technology is key to achieving the UK’s Net Zero targets.
Make the UK a global economic powerhouse for low carbon heat
Drive manufacturing and green innovation across the UK’s substantial boiler manufacturing base. There are no major barriers preventing a switch to heat pump manufacturing in existing factories. This opens up the opportunity for international exports which did not previously exist with gas boilers, as other countries across the world join the race for clean heat.
Incentivise people to choose a low carbon heating source
If policy remains unchanged, UK households that choose an air source heat pump instead of a gas boiler will be penalised for choosing an environmentally friendly option, with one estimate putting the cost at £305 more a year to run a heat pump under the current policy framework due to the way that energy bills are calculated. We need to rebalance the economics of heat to reward people for choosing a lower carbon energy source to fuel their home.
Ensure low income households are protected from energy price changes
As we move away from fossil fuel heating systems, sustained upfront financial support and advice will be needed to support low income and fuel poor homes throughout the clean heat transition.
Supporting households and communities, engagement, installation advice and education
It will be essential to inform, protect and support people with the changes needed to our homes. Sustained public support will be crucial for a successful and affordable transition to a low-carbon future for all households.
Make heat pumps a more attractive consumer offer by further driving down upfront price
Heat pumps could be cheaper today if the playing field is levelled and the right signals from government were put in place then the market can align. The current heat pump market is an industry comparable to electric vehicles at the outset. Government support to pump-prime the market has the power to deliver rapid innovations and significant cost reductions.