The Decarbonising heat in homes report makes a number of key recommendations to government, including:

  • To prioritise the development and launch of a replacement for the Green Homes Grant, delivered locally through regional and local government in England instead of centrally by BEIS
  • A national consumer awareness campaign that, as a minimum, informs the public on why the decarbonisation of heat is needed, what low carbon heating solutions are available and the changes that consumers may have to make in their homes to install low carbon heating
  • Ensure the success of the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme by:
    • explaining what lessons have been learnt from various failed past schemes and how this scheme will therefore be delivered differently
    • focusing public funds on lower income households and homes which will require the most expensive and/or complicated installations to decarbonise
    • incentivising banks to create low cost loan products for consumers
    • partnerning with industry and trade unions to create jobs and training pathways
    • ensuring the scheme lasts for at least a decade instead of merely a few years.
  • Bringing forward the implementation of the Future Homes Standard to 2023 instead of 2025
  • A need for government to adopt a clear and specific end-date by regulating through legislation the phase out of gas boilers, as well as a publish a plan on how it expects the industry and consumers to phase out the installation and use of gas boilers by 2035
  • A need for a clear, long term plan as to how the current rate of heat pump installations will be increased in order to scale up the market
  • The introduction of a heat decarbonisation sector deal to create intentional and consistent collaboration between the government and industry to effectively nurture the low carbon heat markets and reduce costs
  • Urgent development of a low carbon heating training programme, in partnership with industry and trade unions, as well as a low carbon heating technician apprenticeship to encourage young people to enter the sector.

Commenting on the report, Bean Beanland, the Heat Pump Federation’s Director of Growth & External Affairs, said: “Whether on consumer awareness, skills & training, investment, future funding (affordability), the need for urgency, or the need for massive cooperation between both central and local government and industry, we agree, almost without exception, with the Select Committee’s findings and recommendations.”

“Their report makes clear that rapid development of a Heat Decarbonisation Sector Deal must be a priority. This needs to include policy direction for the thirty years through to net-zero 2050 and a domestic heat technology roadmap that has been developed in full collaboration with industry and crucially consumer groups.  Consumers need to be positively involved in the net-zero journey.”

Laura Bishop, chair of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association, said: “The Select Committee acknowledges the central importance of heat pumps to decarbonise heating in homes across the UK; without heat pumps, the UK’s net-zero ambitions will be hard to achieve.  As the Committee points out, the pace of change now needs to pick up and firm policy measures put in place, if the government’s ambition to see 600,000 heat pumps installed every year by 2028 is to be realised.”

“Undoubtedly, it’s a complex and challenging task but it can be met through specific policy instruments and through greater collaboration with government – central, devolved, regional and local, the heating industry, Trades Unions and, importantly, the customer.” 

“Households across the country need greater assurance about the cost and environmental benefits of heat pumps, and the practicalities of switching from a gas boiler to a low carbon heat pump.  Heat pumps are suitable for the majority of homes in the UK.”