‘Sunak’s heat pump rollout delays could cost households thousands’

Delays in the UK’s net zero initiatives, including the phasing-out of oil boilers, could impede the growth of the heat pump industry, potentially hindering efforts to lower household energy costs, according to a new report

Government delays in meeting net zero targets are expected to hinder the growth of the heat pump industry, potentially impacting efforts to reduce household energy expenses, according to research by the Social Market Foundation.

The cross-party think tank warns that Rishi Sunak’s decision to roll back essential net zero initiatives could have negative consequences for British manufacturers, the development of a skilled workforce for home heating and households.

Instead of achieving cost savings, households may remain vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and volatile energy markets, the SMF suggests.

While other countries continue to transition to lower carbon heating solutions, and the UK’s own demand for such systems is set to increase with the government’s target of 600,000 heat pump installations by 2028, the SMF points out a significant opportunity.

The think tank suggests the UK’s heat pump manufacturing sector has faced setbacks due to the government’s decision to roll back or delay key net zero initiatives, such as the phase-out of oil boilers, now postponed from 2026 to 2035, aligning with gas boilers.

Heat pump industry representatives are calling for a clear commitment from the government to prevent further damage to investor, installer and consumer confidence, which could undermine the growth of this fragile industry.

A spokesperson for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero told Energy Live News: “We are taking a fairer and more pragmatic approach to reaching net zero that eases burdens on families – saving households up to £15,000 on upfront costs to upgrade their home.

“We remain committed to our ambition of 600,000 heat pumps a year installed by 2028, backed by a 50 per cent increase in the Boiler Upgrade Grant announced by the Prime Minister – making it one of the most generous support schemes of its kind in Europe.

“We are also incentivising investment in the heat pump market by providing up to £30m to support UK manufacturing, as well as funding a skilled and robust supply chain with the £5 million Heat Training Grant alongside the Home Decarbonisation Skills Training Competition – which has delivered at least 16,000 training opportunities in the energy efficiency, retrofit and low carbon heating sector.”

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