Stepping up to the decarbonisation challenge: Heat Pump Association launches vision report

The Heat Pump Association (HPA) has launched its vision report; “Delivering Net Zero: A Roadmap for the Role of Heat Pumps”. The report, available to download from the HPA website, https://www.heatpumps.org.uk/resources/, outlines the heat pump industry’s commitment and readiness to step up to the challenge of delivering the necessary decarbonisation of heat through the scaling up of heat pump deployment.

The industry’s efforts to establish wide-scale deployment of heat pumps in the UK will be delivered through three key pillars:

  1. Putting the consumer at the heart of change
  2. Upskilling the installer base to create a cohort of highly skilled low-carbon heat installers
  3. Working with government to ensure a supportive policy mix

The decarbonisation of heat is a key priority following the government’s announcement that the UK will become the first major nation to commit to reaching a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050. The report demonstrates the vast carbon savings that heat pumps can achieve immediately, that will be vital to avoiding the worst consequences of the climate crisis. The question of how we are going to decarbonise the heating of buildings in the future is of huge interest to designers, occupiers and installers. The roadmap presented in the report offers a large part of the answer to this.

Emissions through the burning of fossil fuels will not fall unless low-carbon heating systems are attractive to consumers, either by improving comfort levels or saving them money. The vision report enforces a message to consumers that heat pump technology can help to address other policy issues such as fuel poverty and air quality.

Installers will play a vital role in raising awareness among potential customers but there is an urgent need for trained and skilled technicians to be able to design, install and operate heat pump systems properly. Over the coming months, the HPA will work with other leading organisations to roll out a programme of training that will take existing heating engineers through the whole process of designing, installing and maintaining efficient low-carbon heating systems.

The report also calls for strong government leadership at both local and national levels and highlights the work the HPA carries out in consulting with all stakeholders to develop effective policy on the regulatory framework for the future of heating buildings to phase out high carbon fossil fuels.

Graham Wright, Chairman of the HPA, said: “The heating industry has been one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions and we now find ourselves at a pivotal moment as we look to decarbonise our heating supply. The HPA believes that there is a huge opportunity for the country to embrace heat pump technology at this time, and we want to re-emphasise the fact that heat pumps provide strong carbon savings now that will only increase further in the future.

“However, the successful widespread adoption of heat pumps relies on the industry stepping up to help shape strong government policy, education and consumer acceptance. This report will act as a ‘roadmap’ in how we can achieve these goals and help the UK achieve the net-zero carbon emissions target.”

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