New standard will require significant expansion of qualified heat pump installers
The Ministry of Communities, Housing and Local Government says it recognises that some housebuilders are already building to fabric standards above the current Building Regulations standards and that some are already installing low carbon heating systems. ”However,” it says, “Not all home-builders are ready to build to higher fabric specifications yet. Furthermore, there may not be the necessary supply chains, trained installers and product availability needed for every home-builder to do so. This is particularly the case with heat pumps…”
The MCHLG points out that the government’s independent Committe for Climate Change has said it isn’t feasible to ramp up installation rates of heat pumps immediately, given that there are over a million gas boilers sold per year, yet only 20,000 heat pumps are being sold annually - not only due to the lack of market development but also because there are not enough qualified heat pump installers.
But, MCHLG says, across government, it is working with industry to ensure it has skills needed: ”As part of the Department of Education’s National Retraining Scheme, we are investing £34 million to scale up innovative training models for construction skills across the country…The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is also engaging with heating installers to understand the existing supply chain’s ability to deliver low carbon heat installations. This engagement includes a survey of heating installers which aims to give a voice to installers, plumbers and heating engineers to ensure government understands and listens to the opportunities and risks that face installers in the transition to low carbon heating.”