The government has announced that it plans to introduce a new market-based mechanism from 2024 that will create an obligation on gas and oil boiler manufacturers to achieve a certain amount of heat pump sales in proportion to fossil fuel boiler sales.
Once the mandate is established and businesses have adapted, the plan is to gradually step-up the proportion of heat pump sales to bring about large-scale growth to the low-carbon sector. The aim is to provide investors with clarity and confidence, while opening the heat pump sector up to a more diverse range of end-users.
You can find out more about these proposals in A market-based mechanism for low-carbon heat –summary of responses.
Time to embrace low-carbon heating
It’s the first time something like this has been mandated – combined with recent uplift to Part L of the Building Regulations which sets the bar for energy efficiency in buildings and firmly cements the role of renewables into law.
The growth of the heat pump market is based on more than politicians’ promises. The boiler manufacturer mandate will work alongside other subsidy-based and regulatory policy approaches to establish an overall policy framework that will push the low-carbon industry forward over the next decade and ultimately transform the heating sector.
There has never been a better time for heating engineers to train and qualify in Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) installation.
What’s happening in the heat pump sector?
Demand for heat pumps has grown by 312% since the beginning of 2021. The policy and regulatory landscape surrounding heat pumps is slowly coming together, with the Boiler Upgrade Scheme stimulating demand in existing properties. ASHPs will play a major role in compliance with the Building Regulations from 2025.
Heat and Buildings Strategy – the government set out its ambition to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
Boiler Upgrade Scheme – provides grants of £5,000 or £6,000 to support consumers with the upfront costs of heat pump installation. The BUS was brought in following the end of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which, together with ECO3, stimulated the installation of more than 78,000 ASHPs and 15,000 ground source heat pumps (GSHP) in domestic dwellings.
Future Homes Standard – changes to the Building Regulations that will require new build homes to be future-proofed with low-carbon heating – heat pumps being the most established option – to achieve a 75%-80% reduction in carbon emissions compared to homes built pre-2022. The first step towards this was the uplift to Part L of the Building Regulations, which came into force in June 2022.
Training and skills – To effectively deliver low carbon heating solutions we need a resilient workforce of multi-skilled heating engineers who can plan the design of a heating system on a case-by-case basis, considering the fabric and design of the property. Complimentary training, including energy efficiency and heat loss calculation is essential, alongside ASHP installation and product training.
Quality standards – It’s not just quantity, quality installations are key to the success of decarbonisation. MCS has developed a Best Practice Heat Pump Guide to help heat pump engineers apply best practice in pre-sales, design, installation, commissioning and handover.
Heat Pump Ready Innovation Programme – £60 million funding pot to support the development and demonstration of heat pump technologies and tools.
Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project – BEIS funded trial which recently demonstrated the feasibility of large-scale heat pump installation in a representative range of British homes.
Join the low-carbon sector today
Heat pump deployment is strategically important for reaching our Net Zero 2050 target and will continue to grow throughout the next three decades and beyond, directly supporting around 40,000 low-carbon jobs by 2030.
Want to get on board? Take a look at our renewables training courses for experienced heating engineers wanting to upskill.