A new report reveals that heating engineers are split on whether they’ll actually be installing heat pumps in their customers’ homes. There’s been so much buzz and conversation around heat pumps vs gas boilers this year, particularly when the government announced grants to encourage homeowners to make the shift to greener energy.
Provided you have a well-insulated home that’s got enough space, these eco-friendly home heating devices are something to seriously consider when the time comes to replace your boiler. So why are experts warning of issues around heat pump installation?
Heat pump installation issues
Heat solutions provider Baxi Heating (opens in new tab) says that the transition to low carbon heating is at a tipping point due to a combination of factors: training costs, lack of consumer demand, and excess paperwork. ‘Installers will play an important role as we decarbonise the nation’s heating,’ says Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Baxi UK & Ireland.
‘It will be vital that the government and industry support them with the right information, incentives and training.’ Karen Boswell explains that installers will need to be advocates for low carbon sources of heat and recommend to the nation’s homeowners that they make the leap.
While homeowners want to learn how to save energy at home and make their homes more sustainable, Karen says that we will need to address their concerns, support them with training, and explain more clearly the financial and non-financial benefits of these appliances.
In its report (opens in new tab), Baxi discovered that just under a third of the UK’s heating engineers are prepared to embrace heat pumps in the near future. However, there’s a clear division as another 30% said they were extremely unlikely to install them.
The government’s target is 600,000 heat pump installations every year by 2028. That is ten times the current market and would need an army of low-carbon heating installers to be helping homeowners, encouraging them to make the change.
As it stands, training costs are a sticking point – heating engineers currently pay the full cost of training and forgo work in order to receive heat pump training. Unsurprisingly, 39% said they would be more likely to install heat pumps if they received help with training costs.
On top of this, 56% of installers said customer demand needed to be addressed and 38% of installers are concerned about a lack of government support for the market. The current Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which pays a maximum £5,000 grant to support air source heat pump installations will be ending in 2025.