Record year for heat pumps and solar panels in Scottish homes and businesses
2023 saw more certified heat pumps and solar panels being installed in Scottish homes and businesses than ever before, with an 18% jump on the previous record set in 2022.
More than 30,000 solar panels, heat pumps and other renewable energy technologies were installed across the nation last year, according to figures from the MCS database of registered installations.
Scottish Government Grants for homeowners and social landlords will have helped drive this success, alongside the advice provided by Home Energy Scotland.
In 2020, before the current Scottish Government came into power, the total number of MCS-certified renewable installations was 12,573. In 2023, this had jumped to 32,449.
The vast majority of MCS installations registered last year were solar panels, at nearly 26,000. This is a 174% increase on 2020, when just over 9,000 certified solar panel installations were carried out.
Heat pump installations soared by 113% between 2020 and 2023, with grants of up to £9,000 available for installations.
Deployment of heat pumps will need to continue to accelerate rapidly to meet climate change targets and to reduce households reliance on fossil fuel heating, a key driver of the cost of living crisis.
Nearly one in ten Scottish households (8.23%) now have MCS-certified renewable energy in their homes, with more than 200,000 installations in total.
David Cowdrey, Director of External Affairs at the MCS Foundation, which compiled the figures, said: “Scottish households are leading the UK in renewable energy installations, and the record figures from 2023 show a very positive trajectory for solar panels and heat pumps.
“Scottish Government grants of up to £9,000 have helped to boost installations and get more households off polluting fossil fuels and onto cheaper and more efficient renewables.
“To reduce energy bills and tackle the climate crisis the rate of installations must continue to increase. This will need action from Westminster as well, to reduce the costs of electricity so that even more households can make savings on their energy bill by replacing a gas boiler with a heat pump.
Fabrice Leveque, Climate and Energy Policy Manager at WWF Scotland said:
“More and more households are turning to heat pumps and solar energy to reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions. As well as grant funding, the Scottish Government must put in place long-term policies to phase out the use of fossil boilers, which is why it’s essential that the Heat in Buildings Bill is introduced this year to Parliament.”
Paul Goodwin, who lives near Stirling, said, “’I have a heat pump in my 1850’s renovated cottage and have been really happy with the comfortable heat and lower bills. It takes some getting used to but now we have the hang of it, it’s great’. We have move around a bit and this is the third one we have installed. We would never go back to gas or oil.”
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Notes to editors
Figures for certified installations are from the MCS data dashboard, which records all MCS certified installations of solar panels, heat pumps, and other renewable technologies: https://datadashboard.mcscertified.com/ Not all installations will be MCS certified so total numbers of installations will be higher; however these figures are not recorded in any database and the MCS database is the only source of confirmed installation figures.
The total number of certified installations by technology in 2023 in Scotland were:
- Solar PV: 25,875, equalling 56% increase since 2021, and a 174% increase since 2020.
- Heat pumps: 6,388, equalling a 37% increase since 2021, and a 113% increase since 2020.
As of last year, there was a total of 203,347 MCS-certified renewable energy technologies installed across Scotland, including solar panels, heat pumps, and small-scale wind turbines.
There are a total of 35,852 MCS-certified heat pumps registered across Scotland.