Government behind on heat pump scheme targets

The UK government’s heat pump scheme has missed its first-year target by 50%, despite ramping up promotion of the scheme earlier in the year.

The initiative was meant to issue 30,000 grants of £5,000 to help households switch to heat pumps in England and Wales but only managed half in its first year.

A spokesperson for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, which is responsible for the scheme, said: “Industry has reported an increased level of enquiries and we are confident that deployment will increase as the year progresses.”

The scheme is part of the government’s initiative to reach net zero by 2050. According to the BBC, home heating accounts for 14% of the UK’s carbon emissions.

To meet targets, the government will need to install 600,000 low-carbon heat pumps annually within the next five years.

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CEO of Heat Geek, Adam Chapman, said that gas engineers earn far more to fit boilers than heat pumps so there is no incentive to retrain.

“The demand is there for the consumer but not the installer. We need a stronger policy that we are going to phase out boilers,” he said.

In February, the Lords Committee raised concerns that the scheme was underperforming. The government responded, saying it would launch a marketing campaign to promote the scheme.

It has since said that in the first 14 days of running the campaign there was a 62% increase in clicks to the page compared to the previous 14 days. But the government’s own figures show that the number of vouchers given out has dropped since March. The government intends to undertake wider promotion later this year, it said.

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