Heat Pumps - Call for Action on Dacorum

20 Jan 2023
Cllr Adrian England

At Dacorum Council on 18th January 2023, the Lib Dems called for a real incentive for getting the UK Heat Pump market warmed-up. This received cross party support. Councillors recognised an idea that is especially right for Dacorum, with its large stock of Council housing, as a way of cutting heating bills for council tenants.

Lib Dem Cllr England, quoting industry-expert Mr Phil Hurley, MD of NIBE Energy Systems said:

"With the expectation of continued heat pump growth this year globally, the UK has historically lagged other countries. In Poland alone, heat pump sales increased by up to 140% in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, meaning that there heat pumps account for 30% of all heating devices sold.

In the UK, there are still around 1.7 million gas boilers installed every year, with approximately 60,000 heat pump installs this year. In contrast, French heat pumps sales in 2021 were over 500,000; if we are to catch our European colleagues, it is clear there is some way to go.

Going into 2023 the flagship Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) will have just over two years left to achieve its targets. But with (only) 17.8% of its year one funding spent with 3 months to go, a raise in public profile is needed to boost the schemes awareness.

When the French Government committed to phase out all boiler sales within 10 years, there was a surge of interest in heat-pump installer training by 264% in 2019. Similar decisiveness confirming boiler phase out dates in the UK has been a missed opportunity to power action from installers and homeowners to accelerate the inevitable move to heat pumps. A decision on this will give the confidence needed to those sitting on the fence."

The cross party motion proposed by Cllr England was passed, text of the motion is below:

"This Council notes that just 17.8% of the funds available to residents in England and Wales for Heat Source Pump Grants have been claimed in the first three quarters of the life of the scheme. It is further noted that the value of the Grants, at £5,000 each, would appear to be a deterrent to applicants in England and Wales.

The Council asks the Portfolio Holder to write to the Government to ask for an improved and enhanced scheme which will match the Scotland offer of £7.500 to £9,000 grants ."

- The Liberal Democrats nationally are committed to promoting energy efficiency to cut costs and reduce our impact on the planet. Indeed the Liberal Democrats helped to introduce the world's first green investment bank, scrapped by the Conservatives. Moving forward we would upgrade insulation in all existing homes by 2030 and require all new homes to be eco-friendly.

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