MCS and Energy Saving Trust have been awarded government funding to develop a new digital consumer journey for heat pumps, from initial engagement through to quotes for installation.
The funding was awarded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under the Heat Pump Ready Programme (HPR). The Heat Pump Ready Programme forms part of BEIS’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.
Stream 2 of the HPR Programme, ‘Developing Tools and Technology’, supports the development of tools, technology and processes to overcome specific barriers to domestic heat pump deployment in the UK through grant funding.
As project partners, MCS and Energy Saving Trust will build a technology selection tool based on the existing, tried-and-tested solution already provided through Home Energy Scotland (managed by the Energy Saving Trust) to assess a property’s suitability for a heat pump. The tool will be linked to an enhanced version of the MCS ‘Find a Contractor’ platform to allow consumers to request installation quotes from installers.
The project will also appoint an assessment partner to increase the accuracy and dependability of the home information data. The intention is to provide multiple installers with sufficient information to be able to quote to 90% accuracy, without the need for several pre-quote site surveys, while still complying with MCS standards.
Dan White, market development director of MCS, commented: “Meeting the government’s target to install up to 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028 will require significant industry collaboration to make the consumer journey as agile as possible.
“By securing this funding and partnering with trusted experts, Energy Saving Trust, we can ensure that everyday homeowners are equipped with the most innovative and accessible tools for finding highly skilled, certified heat pump installers.”
Inga Jirgensone, group head of business development at Energy Saving Trust, added: “Scaling up the roll-out of heat pumps in UK homes is an essential part of the transition to a net-zero society and in addressing the climate emergency – and is core to our mission.
“Our track record in providing accurate and reliable advice to consumers on heat pumps will enable us to build an effective customer journey in partnership with industry-leader, MCS. We look forward to working in collaboration to make a real difference in this important sector.”
The Heat Pump Ready Programme Stream 2, Developing Tools and Technology, aims to develop solutions that:
- reduce the lifetime cost and increase the performance of domestic heat pumps
- minimise home disruption while providing high quality installations
- develop and trial financial models to support heat pump deployment
- improve the heat pump consumer journey
- provide a smart and flexible home energy system
Business and Energy Minister, Lord Callanan, said: “In light of rising global gas and oil prices, getting low-carbon heating technology into homes is a priority for this government as it will help households ditch the costly fossil fuels that are driving up bills.
“Heat pumps are a proven, reliable technology that uses cheaper renewable energy produced in the UK. We are already bringing costs down through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and slashing VAT to zero, but by finding innovative ways to make them even cheaper and easier to install, we will help more homes see the benefits even quicker.”
As a key solution for decarbonising homes, heat pumps will be critical for meeting the UK’s legally binding commitment to achieve net zero by 2050. The Heat Pump Ready Programme will support the development of innovative solutions across the heat pump sector.