Concerns over the cost of energy have boosted demand for low carbon, high capacity heat systems in the UK, a new study has found.
Sales of high-capacity heat pump systems saw double digit growth in the UK during 2021 according to analysis from the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA).
Manufacturers of heat pumps for commercial use (with a heating capacity ranging from 50kW to 350kW) saw sales rise by an average of 27% in several European markets, with the UK and Italy seeing the strongest growth.
The research found energy price rises to be a driving factor in generating interest in lower carbon heating systems.
Air-source heat pumps showed the biggest sales growth and air-water heat pumps accounted for 84% of the high-capacity system market in 2021.
Heat pumps have the potential to deliver significant reductions in carbon emissions from building heat, delivering three to four units of heat for each unit of electricity needed to run them. This has made them a key technology in the path to net zero.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) aims to see the installation of 1.8 bn heat pumps in buildings in 2050, providing 55% of energy demand for heating globally. Currently 180m units provide 7% of heating.
The government gave the heating sector’s heat pump strategy a further boost recently when it announced 100% tax relief on eligible low carbon heat networks for businesses. VAT on heat pump installations has also been cut from 5% to zero, which will help commercial heat pump markets.
Graeme Fox of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has called on the government to consult with industries directly involved in the decarbonisation of heat, including building services engineering, to understand the implications of its policy proposals and the need for investment in training and skills.
He said: “The new incentives will increase demand for competent companies and skilled individuals able to work with these technologies to ensure installations achieve their maximum potential.”
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