Thank you for contacting me about heat pumps.
One of the hardest things to decarbonise is heat and I am convinced heat pumps are central to achieving net zero.
I understand your concern that bigger heat pump schemes will become ineligible for a grant. Having looked into this, there is some positive news. It is true that there are plans to restrict a specific grant to smaller projects. This is because they can struggle with the initial outlay associated with installing a heat pump. However, the good news is that there are two major new schemes for larger heat pump schemes.
A new £270 million Green Heat Network Fund which will fund large heat pumps, solar thermal installations and waste-heat recovery in heat networks. I understand that the heat pump sector will be invited to give its view on how this fund can best operate.
In July, £1 billion of funding was committed to a new Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to upgrade public sector buildings, including schools and hospitals. I hope to see heat pumps playing a big part in this. Park-based heat pump schemes have the potential to reduce carbon emissions and generate revenue. I have asked colleagues whether they will be eligible for the new £1 billion fund.
Support for the size of installations and the number of installations per property must be got right. I am sure we can agree, looking at schemes elsewhere, that officials alone do not have all the answers.
The argument for the 45kW cap is that this will target support where upfront costs are a particular barrier in transitioning to low-carbon heat. Typically, these installations are in households or small and medium-size enterprises. But I do recognise your concern that many bigger schemes need support too. I am sure you are aware that the consultation expressly seeks views on this very point. The consultation has closed, and the Government is analysing the responses. However, as I have heard from several constituents on this topic I have ensured that the Minister's office is aware of concerns about the suggested cap.
I am pleased that the Energy Minister has asked officials to meet with representatives of the ‘Pump it Up’ campaign to discuss support for heat pump projects.
You mention the efficiency of heat pumps and I am confident that with the right support they will play a massive role in Britain in decarbonising heat.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP