The price of electricity is holding back the rollout of heat pumps in social housing

Matthew Scott CIH 2

Following Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, Matthew Scott argues making clean energy affordable is the missing piece of the jigsaw in tackling the issue

Across the UK, there are statutory targets in place to eliminate fuel poverty and reach net zero carbon emissions. On one hand, we need to ensure that everyone can afford to access the energy they need to keep their homes warm and safe. On the other, we need to eliminate the carbon emissions generated by space heating, which comprise around four fifths of the total emissions produced by domestic homes. This means transitioning away from heating our homes with gas and oil, and heating them with electricity.

The independent Climate Change Committee has said that heat pumps will be needed in at least 50 per cent, but ideally around 80 per cent, of the UK’s housing stock in 2050. To achieve this, the government has a target to install 600,000 heat pumps per annum by 2028.

 This target has been supported by the development of an ambitious policy framework. This includes the establishment of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, the inclusion of heat pumps within retrofit schemes aimed at fuel poor households, and the development of funding to support heating installers to upskill to fit heat pumps.

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