MPs set to consider merits and drawbacks of heat pump rollout

Heat pump

MPs are set to examine electrical, gas and hybrid heat pumps under the next phase of its Technological Innovation and Climate Change inquiry.

On 12 October, the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) set out how heat pumps can play a major role in decarbonising heat, which currently accounts for a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. The EAC also noted the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) estimate that 19mn heat pumps will have to be installed for the 2050 net zero target to be achieved, along with the Prime Minister’s recent claim on the role ground-source heat pumps can play in the “green industrial revolution”.

However, there are drawbacks and barriers that must be overcome for heat pumps to play a role. These include cost, with heat pumps currently more expensive than conventional options, and the significant expansion electric heat pumps would require from electrical grids to facilitate the extra capacity.

The terms of reference include what steps government can take to increase heat pump uptake; how regulatory frameworks can be put in place to guarantee heat pumps are used in the most effective places; the steps that can be taken to lower installation costs; what role gas or hybrid heat pumps can play in helping the UK reach net zero; ways to improve public awareness; and how government can tackle the current skill gap that exists for designers, builders and installers of heat pumps.

Submissions are invited until Friday 6 November 2020.