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Amber Rudd urged to provide more support for heat pumps

BEAMA has written to Secretary of State Amber Rudd requesting more support for heat pumps, citing the “negative impact” that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has had on domestic sales figures.

Signed by deputy chief executive Kelly Butler, the letter says the RHI requires an overview to reduce its current complexity and change the focus to stimulating technology switching, moving away from being an investment proposition.

Describing heat as “an emotive topic for consumers” the letter says consumers need confidence, understanding and continuity of service in any support measures, which can be achieved through a “straightforward grant award process”.

Grants of £2,550 for air-source heat pumps and £4,500 for ground-source heat pumps are suggested to encourage consumers to engage with the technology.

“Naturally we would need to examine the detail of this policy change with officials and consider how grants can also be allocated from the overall budget to include hybrid systems where available (without impacting on the overall budget allocated),” the letter said.

With the current installer market unable to deal with more than 50,000 heat pump sales per annum, BEAMA estimates the subsidy would require no more than £145m of funding a year.

This would be an easy to understand proposition that would increase confidence while delivering carbon and energy savings, said BEAMA, and also create a platform for a “flexible and balanced grid infrastructure”.

“The over-arching benefit of this approach is that it is simple to sell, simple to understand and simple to manage,” said the letter.

Acknowledging the need to address all the various details behind such a scheme, BEAMA said a number of lessons should be taken on boar from the current RHI and previous schemes.