Fife homes lag behind in heat pump installations, new figures show
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Figures from MCS, the standards body for heat pumps and other energy-saving technology, suggest 638 heat pumps were installed in the region from 2009 to September – covering just an estimated 0.4% of households in the area.
Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air or the ground outside and pumping it into a building, operating like an air conditioner in reverse. They are more energy efficient than traditional boilers, and the Government has been providing grants to encourage households to upgrade.
The Government has pledged to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028, but MCS figures show there were fewer than 33,000 installed last year, although separate industry figures show around 55,000 heat pumps were sold across the UK in 2022.
An MCS spokesperson said they welcomed the Government's decision to increase grants for heat pumps from £5,000 to £7,000, but warned uptake would need to increase "exponentially" to meet the Government's target.
Across the UK fewer than 26,000 have been installed so far this year – with 139 of them in Fife homes.
As part of Thursday's announcement, Rishi Sunak promised to roll back demands on landlords to improve the energy efficiency of lets and upgrade old boilers.
But analysis suggests private renters are already the least likely group to have had a key energy efficiency upgrade, such as a heat pump or solar panel.
The Energy Saving Trust, which campaigns for energy efficiency, said it was disappointed at the news.
Stew Horne, head of policy, said: "As the climate emergency escalates, now is the time for scaling up ambition and action to provide industry and public confidence and bring down costs.
"Now is not the time to backtrack on targets and risk being left behind whilst the rest of the world is making the just transition to net zero."
A spokesperson for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said: "We’re investing billions to improve energy efficiency across the country, supporting households switch to low-carbon alternative heating."
"We are supporting property owners and landlords to switch through schemes like the Boiler Upgrade Scheme – which has now received a 50% increase in funding from £5,000 to £7,500 – making it one of the most generous support schemes of its kind in Europe," they added.