Record year for heat pumps and solar panels in Scotland

Gen Z

According to new research, in 2023 more certified heat pumps and solar panels were installed in Scottish homes and businesses than ever before, with an 18% jump on the previous record set in 2022.

More than 30,000 solar panels, heat pumps and other renewable energy technologies were installed across the nation last year, figures from the MCS database of registered installations has revealed.

Scottish government grants for homeowners and social landlords will have helped drive this success, alongside the advice provided by Home Energy Scotland. In 2020, the total number of MCS-certified renewable installations was 12,573. In 2023, this had jumped to 32,449.

The vast majority of MCS installations registered last year were solar panels, at nearly 26,000. This is a 174% increase on 2020, when just over 9,000 certified solar panel installations were carried out. Heat pump installations soared by 113% between 2020 and 2023, with grants of up to £9,000 available for installations.

Nearly one in ten Scottish households now have MCS-certified renewable energy in their homes, with more than 200,000 installations in total.

David Cowdrey, director of external affairs at the MCS Foundation, which compiled the figures, said: “Scottish households are leading the UK in renewable energy installations, and the record figures from 2023 show a very positive trajectory for solar panels and heat pumps. 

“Scottish government grants of up to £9,000 have helped to boost installations and get more households off polluting fossil fuels and onto cheaper and more efficient renewables.

“To reduce energy bills and tackle the climate crisis the rate of installations must continue to increase. This will need action from Westminster as well, to reduce the costs of electricity so that even more households can make savings on their energy bill by replacing a gas boiler with a heat pump.”

Fabrice Leveque, climate and energy policy manager at WWF Scotland, added:  “More and more households are turning to heat pumps and solar energy to reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions. As well as grant funding, the Scottish government must put in place long-term policies to phase out the use of fossil boilers, which is why it’s essential that the Heat in Buildings Bill is introduced this year to Parliament.”

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