An army of heat pump influencers is vital to UK’s net zero goals

Heat pump users who share their experiences could accelerate the country’s heating transition, a new study finds

The Big Zero report

An army of home improvers and heat pump influencers is needed to help the UK reach its net zero domestic heating targets.

That’s according to new research by the University of Sussex Business School, which suggests ‘enthusiastic’ heat pump users willing to share their experience are vital to complement government incentives and subsidies.

The study draws on the example of Finland where residents have been very active in posting about their experiences on using greener heating measures.

Researchers suggest the Finnish heat pump transition could have been much slower without these influencers.

The academics urge the government to use policy to help develop this community of heat pump enthusiasts to lead the transition to green heating options in the UK.

Dr Mari Martiskainen, Lead Author, Senior Research Fellow in the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex Business School, said: “Our study shows that the strong user engagement in the Finnish heat pump adoption was one of the key factors explaining the successful diffusion of heat pumps there in contrast with the continuing struggles in the UK.

“The heat pump movement in Finland began in the mid-1970s and then accelerated in the early 2000s while it is clear that the heat pump transition in the UK has remained stuck in the start-up phase since the 1980s.”

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