Three million UK homes urged to adopt heat pumps for climate goals

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One in ten households is urged to adopt heat pumps by the end of this Parliament to meet ambitious climate commitments, according to a report by Nesta.

The report outlines a plan to accelerate the transition to low carbon heating, emphasising the installation of over three million heat pumps and similar systems across the country within the next few years.

This target represents a twelve-fold increase compared to previous installation rates, underscoring the urgency of the situation.

Nesta’s proposal advocates for the establishment of a national agency and local bodies to facilitate and support the widespread adoption of heat pumps.

The plan includes neighbourhood-wide upgrades and financial incentives to encourage households to make the switch from traditional gas boilers, promising savings of approximately £400 annually per household once operational costs are balanced.

The call to action comes amid concerns over the UK’s progress towards its net zero emissions target, exacerbated by recent policy setbacks and delays in energy efficiency standards.

The report highlights the need for swift policy reforms to rebalance energy bills, phase out gas boilers, and launch pilot schemes for community-based heating projects nationwide.

Madeleine Gabriel, director of sustainable future at Nesta, said: “The new UK Government will need to reverse the drift away from energy policies that ensured we would meet the UK’s net zero targets.

“It has inherited a big problem on home heating and will need to take urgent action.”

Marcus Shepheard, co-author, sustainable future policy manager at Nesta and former lead analyst on buildings at the Climate Change Committee, said: “Delivery has to be the top priority for this government.

“We need to rapidly scale up the heat transition to get the UK back on track.”

Charles Wood, deputy director at Energy UK, said: “A coordinated approach under the new government is essential to accelerate progress towards the goal of decarbonising our homes and businesses.”

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