21 September 2023
Statement in response to the Prime Minister’s statement on net zero on 20th September 2023 from Henrik Hansen, Managing Director at Vaillant Group UK & Ireland:
“As the leading supplier of home heating systems, we recognise the importance of giving homeowners choice when it comes to heating their homes. For almost 150 years we’ve been committed to providing efficient heating solutions for our customers’ homes and, as a manufacturer of both gas boilers and heat pumps, we are technology agnostic. Our aim is to provide unbiased guidance for homeowners on both technologies to make the right decision for their property and heating requirements.
“We understand from customer feedback that the cost and complexity of transitioning to a heat pump is a major barrier for homeowners keen to install low carbon technology. Our experience from some European countries with more established heat pump markets has shown that stronger subsidies and the benefit of lower running costs can speed up the consumer adoption of the technology. The announcement today of the increase of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to £7,500 will be welcome news to homeowners in England and Wales considering making the switch.
“We await more detail from the announcement made today on the overall budget for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. If the overall budget is not increased, the number of homeowners able to access the grant will be limited to 20,000 per annum which represents less than 0.1% of the housing stock in the UK, potentially slowing down the transition to heat pumps. We believe that significant investment into consumer education is needed together with a rebalancing of gas and electricity prices to make the potential benefits of installing and running a heat pump more attractive to the homeowner.
“With the number of installers able to competently install a heat pump under the MCS scheme still at a relatively low level compared to gas safe registered installers, more needs to be done to upskill existing installers while attracting new skilled labour to the industry.”