Record start to 2024 for UK heat pump installations

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Heat pump installations are on course for a record-breaking year in the United Kingdom, according to the latest data from certification body MCS. May 2024 was the second-highest month on record for installations with MCS recording 4,849 air-sourced heat pump installations. Only March 2022 has higher installations figures, when 6,335 air-sourced heat pumps were installed in a rush to meet a grant funding deadline.

Data for the first five months of the year put 2024 on a trajectory to beat annual installation records. MCS certified air-sourced heat pump installations in May 2024 were up 64% compared to May 2023. A total of 36,799 air-sourced heat pumps were installed in 2023, the highest annual volume on record. Year-to-date figures to the end of May 2024 show 21,614 installations, a 54% increase on the 14,061 air-source heat pump installations recorded in the first five months of 2023.

Ian Rippin, CEO at MCS, said it was “great to see consumers embracing technologies such as heat pumps to upgrade their homes.”

MCS is the body responsible for standards across low-carbon energy products, contractors and installations in the United Kingdom. Its standards apply to low-carbon energy technology installations up to 50 kW for electricity generating technologies such as PV or battery energy storage systems, and up to 45 kW for heat generating technologies such as heat pumps (and up to 70 kW for multiple products installed as one system). Using an MCS-certified installer is a requirement for consumers to qualify for the GBP 7,500 ($9,500) heat pump grant available through the UK government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

Rippin said the latest figures for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme show applications increasing each month in 2024, with April seeing a 93% increase on the same month in 2023.

“While this is still some way short of the target 600,000 annual heat pump installations by 2028, it shows that by supporting homeowners through grants and funding there is progress being made,” said Rippin.

Battery storage installations have also gained momentum in the United Kingdom, according to MCS data. There were 1,600 MCS-certified battery storage installations in May 2024, bringing the year-to-date total to more than 6,000 – exceeding the number of small-scale installations recorded for the whole of 2023.

Other renewables technologies did not enjoy the same gains. In May 2024, MCS certified installers carried out 14,384 solar installations, down from 17,787 in May 2023. In year-to-date terms, there were 67,590 recorded solar installations for the first five months of 2024 compared to 88,034 for the same period in 2023.

Rippin said that as the decarbonization of UK homes gathers pace, it is “crucial” that industry and homeowners are supported. “Government incentives and a commitment to developing the skills required to meet increasing demand will be critical in ensuring homeowner confidence in renewable technology continues to grow,” he said.

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