Declining heat pump sales threaten EU energy targets

The European heat pump sector has expressed concerns over declining sales, which may jeopardise the EU’s energy goals of installing 60 million more heat pumps by 2030

The European heat pump sector has raised concerns regarding a decline in sales, a trend that could potentially affect the European Union’s ambitious energy goals.

The EU has set a target of installing an additional 60 million heat pumps by 2030 as part of its efforts to enhance energy independence and reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with heating and cooling systems.

Sales figures from early 2023 indicate a dip in the heat pump market, with several European countries experiencing a reduction in sales.

Italy, for instance, recorded a 34% drop in heat pump sales during the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in the previous year.

Finland faced a 17% decline and Poland reported a 6% reduction, with the possibility of this figure increasing to as much as 20-30% when compared to 2022.

The European heat pump sector attributes this decline in sales to changes in government policies, particularly related to subsidies and support for heat pump adoption.

Furthermore, the disparity between electricity and gas prices has added to the challenge.

High electricity costs, in contrast to falling gas prices, make it difficult for consumers to perceive immediate cost savings when switching to heat pumps, analysts have warned.

Thomas Nowak, Secretary General of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), said: “With strong policies and great sales showing a clear path ahead in 2022, heat pump manufacturers invested massively in production capacity.

“Now, sudden policy changes and unfavourable electricity to gas price ratios have shaken end users’ confidence. This is a serious threat to the heat pump sector – a key EU net zero industry – as well as slowing Europe on its path towards net zero and energy independence.

“We urge the European Commission to fast forward its upcoming heat pump action plan, and to include measures to ensure long-term stability in demand and affordability of clean heating solutions at its heart.”

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