Heat pump targets ‘optimistic’ says NAO

New report released on decarbonising homes

The government is relying on ‘optimistic assumptions’ about consumer demand and manufacturer supply of heat pumps increasing ‘substantially’ to achieve its target of 600,000 heat pump installations per year by 2028, the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned. 

In a new report on decarbonisation of home heating, parliament’s spending watchdog says achieving the target requires an elevenfold increase in annual installations from the 55,000 heat pumps sold in the UK in 2022. Reaching the target relies on the recently postponed Clean Heat Market Mechanism (see article right) and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme delivering 400,000 heat pump installations per year, supported by other energy efficiency and low carbon heating retrofit schemes, such as the Energy Company Obligation.

The NAO adds that some of the government’s September 2023 net zero policy announcements, such as the delayed phase-out of fossil fuel heating systems for off-gas-grid homes, make the 600,000 target ‘more challenging’.