Fewer than 1 in 4 MPs believe UK will meet heat pump targets 

Less than a quarter of MPs (24%) believe that the Government is providing the support required to meet a target of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028, YouGov polling shows. 

The race to install heat pumps is seen as a crucial part of the UK’s net zero ambitions. Boris Johnson’s government in 2021 set a target of reaching 600,000 installations a year by 2028. 

The rate of installations is increasing, with 2023 registering the highest ever number of certified heat pump installations, according to MCS data, and applications for Government grants surging after the subsidy for heat pump installations was raised from £5,000 to £7,500 last year. 

Yet experts say that while higher grants are welcome, much more needs to be done to support uptake of the low-carbon heating systems. The YouGov polling released today suggests that MPs, too, have little confidence that the Government’s current policy package is sufficient to meet heat pump targets. 

The MCS Foundation, which commissioned the YouGov survey, is recommending that the Government press ahead with the Clean Heat Market Mechanism, a key heat pump support policy that is believed to be at threat of being scrapped or watered down. This policy would require boiler manufacturers to sell a ratio of heat pumps proportionate to their boiler sales, and was due to come into effect from April 2024, though in recent weeks its future has become uncertain. The MCS Foundation says that the Clean Heat Market Mechanism is essential if heat pump sales are to be ramped up. 

The MCS Foundation is also encouraging the Government to incentivise the switch to electric-powered heat pumps by reducing the price of electricity bills relative to gas. This could be achieved by moving environmental tariffs on electricity into general taxation and carrying out electricity market reforms.  

Also key to faster rollout of heat pumps are Government plans to make heat pumps the default heating options for all new homes from 2025, a decision that the MCS Foundation strongly supports. 

David Cowdrey, Director of External Affairs at the MCS Foundation, said: “While increased Government subsidies for heat pumps are helping more households switch away from gas, it is clear that much more needs to be done to accelerate the rollout of low-carbon heating.  

“MPs of all parties need to unite behind the Clean Heat Market Mechanism, which will prove crucial to the transformation of our heating infrastructure as we move away from fossil fuels and onto clean heat pumps.  

“Reducing electricity costs for households will incentivise the switch to heat pumps and will mean lower bills, making this policy a win-win for the climate and for the cost of living.” 

Leo Vincent, Policy Advisor at E3G, said: “The decarbonisation of heat is a mission of national importance if we are to achieve net zero, reduce household energy bills and ensure British energy security.  

“The way to boost political confidence in heat pump delivery is through continued introduction of sound long-term policies, while exploring ways to lower the running costs of heat pumps.  

“Many MPs’ constituents are already enjoying the benefits that freedom from fossil fuel heating offers. With the right balance of investments and regulation, this number will only continue to rise.” 

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Notes to editors 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 107 MPs. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th – 26th January 2024.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative. 

Lucy Galvin

Lucy Galvin

Mobile; 07954 428437

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Jamie Osborn

Jamie Osborn

Mobile; 07975 881585

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