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‘Boilers will lose battle against heat pumps’

Heat pumps are set to steal a significant share of the UK heating market from boiler manufacturers over the next few years.

The claim was made by Andrew Giles, general manager of the leading research association BSRIA, during a recent European air conditioning conference organised by Sanyo. Mr Giles, from BSRIA’s Worldwide Marketing Intelligence division, told delegates there would be a “battle” between manufacturers of traditional boiler and hot water appliances and heat pumps, but that heat pump companies would win.

He claimed that much of the European energy efficiency legislation impacting the sector was driving the market, since boilers often only had a Co-efficient of Performance (CoP) of only one, while heat pumps were much more impressive. BSRIA statistics estimate up to 10,000 heat pumps will be sold this year, but that will increase to a staggering 50,000 in 2008 with 10,000 of these units likely to be CO2 appliances.

“The growth rate [in Japan] has caught everyone by surprise, but signs of growth around the world are unmistakable,” he said. “However, it will be much harder for the Japanese to move into the heat pump sector in the way they did with air conditioning a few years ago. 'The heating market is much larger and powerful. It will be an interesting battle over the next few years,” Mr Giles added.