Rehau calls on government to increase heat pump uptake


Rehau is calling on the government to increase heat pump uptake by reducing the ‘spark gap’. This follows the Climate Change Committee (CCC)’s progress report to parliament stated that the UK is lagging in its building decarbonisation efforts last month.

The committee lamented that heat pump installations in 2022 fell well below the 130,000 recommended for the country to remain on-track with its 2050 emissions-neutral target.

With only 72,000 installed last year and the CCC identifying heat pumps as a crucial, low-regret decarbonisation option to sustainably heat buildings, more seamless support is required to integrate the technology in small- and large-scale projects.

Steve Richmond, head of marketing and technical at Rehau Building Solutions, said: “Though the number of heat pump installations rose in 2022, it is disappointing that we remain behind schedule in the adoption of this technology.

“As the report makes clear, we will need to install an ever-increasing amount of heat pumps year-on-year if the country is to achieve net zero by 2050.

“This current disparity does not bode well for the CCC’s target of 145,000 installations by the end of 2023, so swift action will be required to get back on track.

“One immediate step that can be taken is moving levies on electricity to general taxation. This is a key policy area the government admits needs addressing to help the deployment of heat pumps on both individual and district schemes by shortening payback times.

“While this would encourage the transition away from fossil fuel heating systems, additional actions should also be taken, including making capital funding available for non-domestic energy users.

“Currently, only public buildings and large schemes are covered under the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and Green Heat Network Fund respectively, but more initiatives are required if we are to reach net zero.”

Steve added: “As the CCC’s report made clear, we need to prioritise progress and pace over perfection to effectively decarbonise buildings.

“I couldn’t agree more with this – there will undoubtedly be space for multiple green energy sources in the future national heating mix, but we cannot delay moving forward with viable technologies now.

“I would therefore encourage heating professionals working within this space to engage suppliers helping implement heat pumps and district heating schemes, especially given the ongoing phase-out of gas boilers.

“As the CCC says, these technologies are often no-regret options, so projects using them will not be significantly affected by any strategic decisions on heat.

“With the demand for sustainability having long moved from a preference to a priority in building services, heat pumps and heat networks provide a clear way forward. Leveraging the expertise of the supply chain to adopt best practices and products should be an urgent priority for industry stakeholders.”

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