Domestic heating and hot water provision accounts for around a quarter of total UK energy demand, and the sector is currently dominated by natural gas boilers. Decarbonising this sector is therefore a key challenge if the UK is to continue its journey to net zero.

Low-carbon domestic heat may be delivered by a range of technologies and approaches, including heat pumps, district heating (provided the heat source is low carbon), decarbonising of the gas grid through hydrogen or biomethane, and improving the thermal efficiency of homes.

This TPA project will focus on heat pumps because many analyses have concluded that they will be a more cost effective route to decarbonising heat provision and that they are therefore likely to play a major role in achieving carbon reduction targets. However, the required pace of emissions reductions in the domestic heat sector represents a very significant challenge, and a key part of that challenge is the current high cost of heat pumps and the associated heating system changes required to make best use of the different operating characteristics of heat pumps, relative to the incumbent gas boilers. This project aims to bring together the evidence from past cost trends and future expectations of costs for heat pumps.

The overarching question which this project will address is:

What is the potential for cost reductions in heat pumps for decarbonising domestic heat supply?

The approach to be adopted by the project team is described in the scoping note below.

Heat pump cost reductions_Scoping note_Aug 2021