We recently asked the question “Where next for the commercial heat pump market?” - an issue that is inextricably linked to the fate of the gas boiler and the government’s proposed green regime. In fact, many experts in the heating sector believe the boiler market is currently facing its greatest ever challenge.
The Clean Heat Market Mechanism
The UK government’s proposed Clean Heat Market Mechanism plans to require manufacturers to ensure at least 4% of any new systems sold are heat pumps. This has prompted some manufacturers to warn that boiler prices could increase by up to £300 a unit to cover possible fines to companies that don’t meet the target.
The planned policy has been likened to a “boiler tax” and comes at a time when the heating market is facing significant challenges to the rollout of heat pump technology.
What does the industry say?
The boss of Worcester Bosch, Carl Arntzen, has suggested the policy is an attempt to increase the cost of gas boilers to bring them more in line with heat pump costs (read his comments in this online news article).
He added that the UK market for heat pumps was not yet at “sufficient scale” for the measures, which are proposed to be introduced in 2024.
Meanwhile, the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) is calling on the government to drop the planned targets, suggesting it is not the right approach to increasing uptake of heat pumps.
What could happen to the gas boiler market?
Around 86 per cent of households are heated by a gas boiler. Homes account for nearly a fifth of UK greenhouse gas emissions. This is the background to attempts to shift heating mechanisms towards greener technologies.
The Clean Heat Market Mechanism is still just a proposal and we expect the heating sector to continue making plenty of noise about targets and penalties.
Although most manufacturers have developed their own heat pump product ranges, the market itself is still very much in its infancy and many experts feel the pace of change is too rapid or is not being incentivised effectively. Watch this space!
You may also be interested in our article Boilers or heat pumps – how to future proof your sales career
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