Boiler Upgrade Scheme not yet delivering upswing in heat pumps 

The £450m UK Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which was launched in May, has yet to deliver an upswing in heat pump inquiries from domestic customers let alone installations, according to a survey of its members by the Ground Source Heat Pump Association.

Laura Bishop GSHPA

In fact, the industry is seeing fewer inquiries from domestic customers than 12 months ago. 

GSHPA, which represents heat pump system designers, contractors and installers across the UK, asked its members about their present levels of business and their outlook for the future, now that the Boiler Upgrade Scheme gives customers a grant of £6,000 for a ground source heat pump, at zero-rated VAT. 

Laura Bishop, chair of the GSHPA said: “The results of our members’ survey are stark. Despite the Government wants to see a faster take-up of heat pumps installations, 62% of our members have seen a drop in customer enquiries for individual heat pump installations, with a direct impact on turnover and 86% of our members feel that the heat pump is less investible than a year ago.”  

The market needs a kick start 

“Three months in, it does not appear that the Government’s heralded Boiler Upgrade Scheme is having the desired effect on heat pump deployment and is certainly no replacement for the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.  Further measures are required to kick-start the market for heat pumps, in particular the lifting of environmental levies on electricity for those using heat pumps, higher levels of grant support for heat pumps and home insulation and ending the sales of natural gas boilers before 2035.  

“If the UK is to decarbonise heat and switch away from gas boilers, as part of the UK’s journey to reach Net Zero, there is no time to argue and dither anymore – we must do more to promote the environmental and economic benefits of low-carbon ground-source heat pumps to industrial and business customers as well as domestic customers up and down the country.” 

“There has to be a unified effort by politicians, OFGEM, industry and consumer organisations to communicate the benefits and practicalities of switching away from gas boilers to low-carbon heating, including ground-source heat pumps.”