Responses to new heat and building strategy

Heat pumps: innovators call for urgency and joined-up thinking from UK Government


Posted By:

Frieda Wignall

Junior Programme Officer

An engineer fixing pipework


Frontline enterprises and organisations have questioned the UK Government’s heat and buildings strategy, announced yesterday (October 19).

Ashden helped innovators respond to the strategy on national and regional media programmes. Organisations gave a cautious welcome to news that the government would offer households around £5,000 to install heat pumps, and has earmarked £60million of investment for heat pump innovation.

But Anneaka Kellay of Carbon Co-op – a finalist in the 2021 Ashden Award for Green Skills – warned LBC that new pumps would be ineffective without investment in upgrading draughty homes. She said: “What lots of the industry is looking for is long-term, clear, well thought-out strategic policy – and this doesn’t feel like. It feels quite similar to the Green Homes Grant last year, which ended up failing.”

Russell Smith, chief executive of Ashden Award winner Parity Projects, appeared on Sky News calling for more urgency from government.  Writing on Twitter later, he called for more detail on standards, and support to move the take-up of heat pumps beyond “today’s early adopters”.

Heat pump innovators Kensa Group – a finalist in the 2021 Ashden Award for UK Climate Innovation – were interviewed for Channel 5 News.

YouTube video

In a piece for Thomson Reuters, Ashden’s Cara Jenkinson highlighted how Kensa Group is upskilling workers and adopting a street-by-street approach, featuring split ownership models and individual networked heat pumps, in a bid to increase uptake to reduce costs.

Writing for Sustinable Business, Ashden CEO Harriet Lamb called for the government to “swing behind the skills agenda“, and prioritise training a workforce than can deliver zero carbon housing.

Ashden’s own analysis also appeared in Local Government Chronicle, Environment Journal and Construction Industry News.

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