UK: A UK government advisory body has called for free installation of heat pumps in low-income households and for billions of pounds in heat pump subsidies.

In its second five-year review, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) said improving infrastructure to drive economic growth across the UK and meet climate targets is achievable and affordable if the right policy steps are taken now.

In a program to transform the country’s energy, transport and other key networks over the next 30 years, recommendations include fully subsidizing the cost of installing a heat pump for one third of households – based on income – and offering £7,000 support for everyone else to switch to a heat pump.

Among other recommendations, the assessment makes the case for the use of heat pumps and heat networks as a solution for converting buildings from gas to heating. Noting that seven million buildings in England will need to make this transition by 2035 to meet the sixth carbon budget, the Commission sets out a full-cost program of government support for households to make the transition, including:

  • around £1.3 billion a year until 2035 of the year. cover the full cost of installing heat pumps for low-income households;
  • around £1.9 billion a year until 2035 for an initial £7,000 upfront grant to households installing a heat pump or connecting to a heat network, which will be reduced over time as costs fall, in addition to zero funding for remaining costs ;
  • around £3.2 billion a year until 2035 to improve energy efficiency and install heat pumps in public sector properties and social housing.