There are big changes on the horizon when it comes to heating our homes in the UK, and low-carbon heating technologies are set to play a starring role. While the shift to using more sustainable heating technology in homes has been growing over the years, the government’s commitment to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 has acted as a catalyst in accelerating widespread adoption.
Heating and powering homes accounts for 22%* of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, so it’s no surprise that our housing stock has become a central focus for change. As homeowners start to look for the best eco-friendly heating options, here are six key reasons outlined by Mark Dyer of Daikin UK, why heat pumps will be vital providing us all with a more sustainable future, and why it’s worth brushing up on your knowledge now:
1. They’re better for the environment
Homeowners that invest in a heat pump over an oil or gas boiler could significantly reduce their carbon footprint. For example, a typical air source heat pump will produce 45% fewer carbon emissions compared to a gas boiler, and 59% fewer than an oil boiler – a reduction of up to 43.5 tonnes of carbon emissions over the system’s typical 15-year life span per home.
That’s the same carbon impact as taking two cars off the road for 10 years.
2. They have lower running costs
A heat pump can significantly reduce homeowner’s energy bills. For example, an efficient heat pump can save the average UK household up to £378 on heating bills each year compared to a gas boiler, and up to £476 compared to an oil boiler.
The government’s Green Homes Grant is also currently offering homeowners vouchers worth up to £5,000, or £10,000 for lower income households, to reduce the cost of installation on heat pumps. And that’s not all the financial support available. In 2014 the government launched the renewable heating incentive (RHI) to encourage households to switch to heating systems that use eligible energy sources in a bid to help the UK reduce its carbon emissions. The RHI provides quarterly payments for seven years if households install, or have already installed, renewable technology in their home – for example, a heat pump.
3. The technology is available now
To achieve the government’s ambitious net-zero target, a change in how UK homes are heated needs to start now. This means prioritising technologies that are already available and highly effective, such as heat pumps. Heat pump technology can deliver both substantial carbon savings and is well-established enough to enable efficient and easy installation on a wide scale now.
4. A system to suit every home
There are a number of different types of heat pump, including hybrid systems, which means that they can be installed in almost any home. Whether it’s for a luxury new build offering sleek design and smart technology or a practical option to fit with a more traditional heating set-up.
5. The UK’s looming gas boiler ban
95%* of UK homes are centrally heated, with the majority relying on gas or oil-fired boilers. However, in line with the government’s 2050 net-zero emissions target and as part of the Future Homes Standard, gas boilers won’t be permitted in new homes from 2025. The aim is to replace them with low-carbon energy solutions, which will no doubt increase demand for eco-technology, such as heat pumps.
6. The future workforce
With an increased focus on low-carbon heating, there is a huge opportunity for green jobs as the industry scales up the installation of renewable heating systems. For the heat pump market alone, it is estimated that around 17,000 new installers will be required to meet the expected demand within the next ten years. Daikin are working with those already in the industry to ensure they get the training they need to upskill and protect their future through initiatives such as our Sustainable Home Network. But, apprentices and those starting out in the industry are absolutely critical in fuelling industry growth.
Daikin are always looking for ambitious and talented individuals who are keen to kickstart a successful career in heating. Their apprentices will become product knowledge experts, while learning all the practical, hands-on skills needed to install and maintain renewable heating systems.
You can find more information about Daikin and its apprenticeship schemes, here.