May 23, 2022

Hitting the Target: Meeting the UK's Heat Pump Targets


Centre for Net Zero


The UK government is supportive of heat pump adoption. In its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, it stated an ambition to install 600,000 per year by 2028. Centre for Net Zero built an agent-based model, designed to model the interventions or combination of interventions that would be required for the Government to meet this target.

Key findings

① The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) would not generate enough uptake alone to reach the Government’s 600,000 per year heat pump installation target by 2028.

② Of the scenarios modelled, only interventions including a boiler ban announced by 2025 generate enough uptake of heat pumps to reach the Government 2028 target
The announcement of a ban sees more households transition to low carbon heating technologies earlier, in line with their usual renovation/breakdown cycles.

③ Awareness of heat pumps is pivotal to achieving uptake at scale
Consumer awareness campaigns to increase knowledge will help us move away from fossil fuel technologies during renovations or heating system breakdowns.

③ Heat pump installer capacity in the UK has the potential to be a significant constraining factor
While the combination of the BUS, together with a ban and an awareness campaign might raise demand to levels beyond the target, installer capacity would create a bottleneck. We found that 30,000-35,000 installers are required by 2028 - which was used by BEIS in evidencing the need for government schemes including the Home Decarbonisation Skills Training Competition.