A male heating installer crouched by a Vaillant external heat pump unit, tools in hand, illustrating heat pump installation

What does the industry want the new government to do?

As Prime Minister Keir Starmer settles into Number 10, some of the industry’s manufacturers and organisations have been writing their wishlists for the new government.

Jeff House, director of External Affairs and Policy at Baxi, says: “Redistribution of policy costs from electricity bills and better representation of the generation mix in the unit cost build-up are some of the activities under way which need to be progressed.

“To make heat pumps and electrically driven systems a truly mass-market proposition, the running costs, compared to a gas boiler counterfactual, need to be attractive and lower-carbon options should become the affordable, default choice over time.

“With Energy Performance Certificates largely calculated based on running costs rather than emissions, and ongoing debate as to their fitness for purpose in supporting the energy transition, reform is needed. Once the EPC framework is robust and more reflective of sector needs, there is the potential to look at progressive policy that uses the EPC as the basis for enforcement in the future.”

At Vaillant, Technologies and Training director Mark Wilkins says: “We welcome the new government’s manifesto pledge of £6.6 billion into the Warm Homes Plan, which will aim to upgrade 5 million homes and cut bills for families through insulation and other measures, including heat pump installs. We look forward to details surrounding home upgrades, to be clarified in the coming weeks.

“Engaging consumers must be a priority for the new government: heat pumps are the lowest-carbon heating solution and therefore should reward homes with lower energy costs.”

Glynn Williams, UK managing director of Grundfos, adds: “Attention should turn swiftly to the key issues the country faces – not least the energy inefficiency of our homes and commercial buildings. Our research tells us that eight in ten people who switched their vote from Conservative to Labour since 2019 think the outgoing government didn’t do enough on energy efficiency, and they will expect swift action from the new one.

“Focusing only on insulation will not be enough to deliver the savings on energy bills that people need. This government should therefore consider extending boiler and insulation schemes to include cost-effective and easily implementable solutions such as circulator pumps, thermostatic radiator valves, and pipe insulation.”

Charlotte Lee, chief executive of the Heat Pump Association, says: “We urge the new government to pursue robust, clear regulatory changes and policy developments that remove unnecessary barriers to the widescale deployment of heat pumps, such as the implementation of the Future Homes Standard, changes to permitted development rights and provide clarity on the future of the Clean Heat Market Mechanism.

“It is essential to ensure we have a skilled and competent workforce to support this transition. We call on the government to invest in training and development programmes that will prepare our workforce for the future of low-carbon heating. These include the continuation of the Heat Training Grant, publishing the updated Mandatory Technical Competency documents and mandating low-temperature heating training for all heating engineers.”

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