The main reason that the UK is falling behind countries like Germany and Denmark in rolling out heat pumps is because building regulations and other regulations are suited to support gas boilers not heat pumps. This claim has been made by a heat pump installer attempting to develop a cheaper heat pump programme. This contradicts the story emerging from the Environmental Audit Committee which blames high electricity prices relative to gas as being the biggest problem facing the heat pump programme in the UK. Brendon Uys, Managing Director of Heacol Ltd, who is developing a new line of compact heat pumps for the new-build housing market said ‘We need to change building regulations to allow all-house running for heat pumps and also rapidly train installers to install heat pumps properly as they are installed and run on the European continent. Building regulations are a thermodynamic disaster zone for heat pumps which explains a lot of the complaints about the performance of heat pumps in the UK’. In Denmark, for example, there are nearly twice as many heat pumps installed in houses compared to the UK, even though the UK population is more than ten times bigger than Denmark. It is very galling to read that the energy establishment appears to be focussing on calls to increase gas prices through some sort of hefty carbon tax. Hitting all consumers currently using gas with large price increases is a politically toxic proposition, and is a suggestion that one would almost think of as an excuse for inaction. A much better course of action would be to design regulations and incentives that suit the heat pump industry and people who want to install the heat pumps rather than the gas lobby.
100% Renewables 23rd Dec 2020 read more »