EU releases strategy for heat pump rollout

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The European Commission is asking its citizens and businesses for feedback on its rollout strategy for heat pumps. Its RePower EU plan is designed to support faster uptake of residential and industrial heat pumps, with the Green Deal Industrial Plan pointing to heat pumps as one of the key technologies to meet EU climate-neutrality goals. The commission also wants to deploy an additional 30 million heat pumps by 2030 by phasing out standalone gas boilers.

The call for evidence opened on April 28 and runs until May 26. It asks for feedback on four strands of action that aim to accelerate the roll-out of heat pumps across the European Union.

The first action point is a partnership between the commission, member states, industry members, financial institutions, and research and innovation centers to scale manufacturing and create favorable conditions for heat pump deployment in Europe. These include a “favorable electricity/gas price ratio, and cross-cutting standardization and interoperability aspects,” according to a Commission’s communication.

The action plan also wants to facilitate access to all relevant EU funding programs. It will map financing possibilities for the roll-out of heat pumps at the individual level, and for heating networks supplied by large heat pumps at local and regional levels. The commission says its regional strategy will particularly focus on people affected by energy poverty.

The commission said it also plans to update its legislative rules on ecodesign and energy labeling “to ensure a sufficiently strong policy signal for the heat pump market.” It suggests recasting the emergency measures on renewable permitting, the electricity market design legislation, and the Net-Zero Industry Act. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), among others, may also be revised.

In addition, the European Commission wants to set up a dedicated heat pump skills partnership with a focus on improving communication and awareness about heat pump technology.

The call for feedback will be followed by a public consultation, planned for the second quarter of 2023. The commission expects to adopt the strategies by the fourth quarter of 2023.

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