Comment by Russell Dean, Mitsubishi Electric, Residential Product Group Director on the General Election

"The forthcoming General Election on 4th July will bring into focus the policies of the different political parties. We hope that the next government will come forward with a renewed emphasis on decarbonising the UK’s buildings to reach net zero by 2050. 

“Importantly, to help achieve this, 600,000 heat pumps must be installed annually by 2028 – a target set by government. The current rate of installation is far less than 100,000 a year, so more must be done to ensure the increase needed.

“To help realise this target, we are calling on the next government to rebalance the cost of electricity and gas. The price of electricity in the UK is far higher than that of fossil fuels (*) and this puts an unfair and expensive burden onto households and businesses wishing to adopt and install renewable heating systems such as heat pumps.

"In the long term, we would like to see levies removed from electricity bills to balance these costs. In the short term, we support the Heat Pump Association's call for a Domestic Heat Pump Tariff Discount, which would reduce the price of electricity used for hot water and heating produced by a domestic heat pump.

"This will make electricity much more affordable for many families at a time when there is cost-of-living crisis. It will also move household energy requirements away from fossil fuels and volatile oil and gas prices, back UK energy security as the nation moves to renewable energy sources and help to grow the green economy and employment in Britain. 

“A lot of focus will rightly be on decarbonising Britain’s homes, but in addition we must concentrate on the opportunities in the commercial sector, where heat pumps can also play an immediate role in decarbonising buildings. We would therefore urge the incoming government to continue and increase support for programmes such as the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund, along with publicity campaigns to increase awareness amongst UK businesses. 

“At the same time, we also call on the new government to increase support for renewable apprenticeships and grow the number of colleges offering training in heat pumps, along with promotion of the career benefits of sustainable engineering.

“Government support, along with hands-on, innovative on-line and virtual reality training from manufacturers such as Mitsubishi Electric will quickly address any skills gap by significantly increasing the number of heating engineers adding renewable heat pumps to their portfolio.”

(*) From 1st July, gas prices will be capped at 5.48p/kWh with a daily standing charge of 31.41p; while the cost of electricity will be substantially greater at 22.36p/kWh with a daily standing charge of 60.12p.

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