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A Heat Pump Charter has been drafted by the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) with the objective of ensuring a positive consumer experience when heat pumps are installed as a replacement for other systems.
The Charter lays out five ‘rules’, or minimum requirements, that should be in place before any heat pump system is installed. They address ‘fabric-first’ issues such as insulation and double glazing, and standards for both the appliance and the installer.
For consumers installing a heat pump in their home under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), their property will have to meet certain minimum requirements to qualify for the government’s RHI payment. The HHIC would like to see these minimum requirements applied to all heat pump installations, including those installed outside of the RHI scheme.
HHIC director Stewart Clements believes the heating industry can give consumers greater protection than what is currently afforded by the government. He says:
“This Charter takes the protections that the Government has in place, and limited for the taxpayer, and extends them to all consumers.”
“For example, the government currently believes proper insulation should be in place before a taxpayer-subsidy is awarded for a heat pump installation, but not if the consumer pays for the appliance. We want all consumers to get the best performance from their new appliance and urge the government to extend this requirement for all installations.
“There is plenty of evidence to suggest that consumers are not always getting the product performance they thought they would. This Charter helps protect the consumer against dodgy appliances and poor installs.
“With heat pump sales likely to soar in the coming years, it is important to get the right rules in place now. That’s why this Charter is so timely.
“Nothing in this Charter is new – it simply collates existing best practice into one place. The heating industry is putting the consumer at the very heart of its thinking, and now more than ever before we need government to back us up.”