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Move to heat pumps - rental sector faces ‘biggest shake-up in decades’

The next decade will see the biggest shake-up of the heating sector in living memory as the country’s homes switch to heat pumps, says the sector’s trade body.

To achieve the planned phase-out of new fossil fuel boilers by the mid-2030s and to meet the government’s target of 600,000 heat pumps being installed annually by 2028, the Heat Pump Association is calling for a strong partnership between industry and government.

Its report, Transforming Britain’s Heating – A Pathway to Heat Pumps, suggests that policies could include making homes heat pump-ready by requiring room-by-room heat loss calculations and by hydraulic balancing and recalibrating existing boiler systems to lower flow temperatures to a maximum of 55c.

Landlords soon face making decisions about whether to fork out for retrofit works, especially if government proposals that all new tenancies will have to reach an EPC band C by 2025 get the go-ahead. However, recent reports show that ground source heat pump installation costs can add up to an eyewatering £35,000 and are incompatible with most homes.

Phil Hurley, chair of the Heat Pump Association, said: “Significant investments in UK manufacturing and installer training have already been made in response to some of the signals government has given so far. Further clarity of the policy framework will unlock the remaining investor confidence needed to finish the job.”

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