Report: Slow heat pump roll out to cost UK £65m in export opportunities annually

Clean Heat Market Mechanism stipulates that heating manufacturers must progressively increase the proportion of heat pumps in their output.

This is based on ECIU’s new analysis highlighting that three-quarters of UK’s central heating boiler exports are directed towards countries that have established target dates to phase out fossil fuel boilers by 2030.

If the industry does not accelerate its shift towards cleaner heating alternatives, ECIU claims that the potential financial impact could amount to a cumulative loss of £1.3bn in exports between 2030 and 2050.

The ECIU’s energy analyst Jess Ralston said: “The switch to clean heat is continuing at pace outside of the UK as the US and Europe learn their lesson from the gas crisis. It’s starting to look like we haven’t.

“The UK’s existing boiler manufacturers must be able to see the writing on the wall. With clear signals from Government on the future of heating at home, we can take our expertise abroad and get ahead on heat pumps before we lose our place amongst the leaders of the world’s heating industry.”

In 2022, the UK exported approximately £85m worth of central heating boilers and associated parts, based on trade data from the UN.

Out of the total export value, a considerable 77%, equivalent to £65m, was destined for countries that have set “target” phase-out dates for fossil fuel boilers within the upcoming seven years.

The leading recipient of central heating boilers and parts from the UK in 2022 was Ireland, with imports valued at around £50m. Ireland has set a phase-out date for new fossil fuel boilers starting from 2025.

Germany and the Netherlands, importing £4m and £1.3m worth of central heating products respectively from Britain in 2022, have also established phase-out targets for fossil fuel boilers by 2025 or 2026.

UK’s heat pump targets

The UK has pledged to phase out gas boilers in new homes by 2025 under the Future Homes Standard. However, it’s still undecided whether new homes can access the gas grid, pending a consultation that is now overdue, having originally been earmarked for spring 2023.

Additionally, there’s no confirmation on the proposed ban on fossil fuel boilers in off-gas grid homes by 2026.

Nonetheless, there exists a goal to eliminate all gas boilers in the UK by 2035. Recently, the Government affirmed its intention to proceed with the clean heat market mechanism.

This will mandate manufacturers of fossil fuel boilers to sell a specific portion of heat pumps starting in 2024, with the requirement increasing annually.

The UK is aiming to increase the annual installation of heat pumps to 600,000 units by 2028. However, industry organisations and government climate advisors have cautioned that policymakers are inadequately preparing to achieve this surge in installations.

Comments (2)

  1. Albert Dowdeswell says:

    The general run of heat pumps today can only heat water to around 55deg.c, consequently older homes built without good insulation cannot be warmed to a comfortable temperature during very cold weather without expensive changes to the radiating systems.

    Two companies, appear to have made a big improvement, claiming their new heat pump can heat water up to 80deg.c

    Blue Heart Energy in Holland.
    Equiums Accoustic Heat Pumps in France.

  2. Richard Phillips says:

    It may have passed the notice of political interests, not scientifically well informed, that heat pumps run on electricity.
    Most electricity is generated using natural gas turbines. Wind is very variable and not a source to be relied upon.
    The clean, reliable, source is nuclear. But not liked by all; though I do!!
    Our base load of electricity could be met with nuclear, but that is very long term, and has big initial costs.
    Only a public endeavor could face these long term costs.
    Not tasty, but true!

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