Positive response to government plans

The heating industry has been responding to plans revealed today by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to launch a ‘green industrial revolution’. Included in the ten points outlined by the PM are plans to make homes, schools and hospitals more energy efficient and an installation target of 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028. There are also plans to support hydrogen production, with the aim of developing the first town to be heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.

The government has pledged to allocate £1 billion next year into making new and existing homes and public buildings more efficient, extending the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme by a year and making public sector buildings greener and cutting bills for hospitals and schools, as part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

The Energy Trade Association (EUA) says that the strong backing for hydrogen and other measures to decarbonise heating represents a major step forward for UK climate obligations, and is the commitment industry have been waiting for, while also describing the extension of the Green Homes Grant as “extremely welcome news”.

“The measures that the Prime Minister has outlined to support hydrogen are a significant move towards creating a stable hydrogen economy in the UK,” says EUA chief executive Mike Foster. “The plans to create a hydrogen town will give investors’ confidence and a clear sense of direction.

“The increased commitment towards energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating should also help the industry plan and invest in the future. However, we hope that BEIS will look at the governance of this scheme to make it easier for heating engineers and small companies to access, reducing the red tape would be a good first step.”

The Heat Pump Association (HPA) has also welcomed the plans as good news for the heat pump industry, pointing out the the government’s installation targets are broadly in line with the level recommended by the HPA in its roadmap document published last year.

Graham Wright, chairman of the HPA, comments: “As we have stated in our recent report, there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution to the decarbonisation of heat. However, as the Committee on Climate Change has already stressed, heat pumps are an established technology and can provide one of the solutions for an urgent and widespread shift to low carbon heating and must be supported immediately. This plan is therefore welcome news for the heat pump industry as it does appear to agree with our recommendations.

“We also recognise industry’s need to make the required heat pump installation training widely available. This is something the HPA is also committed to and the Government’s plan makes it clear there will be new jobs created in order to help carry out this move to greener technology.”

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