Energy Saving Trust’s new research finds more than half of Scots are aware of heat pumps

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New research published today by Energy Saving Trust reveals that just over half of Scots leaseholders or owner occupiers surveyed have heard of heat pumps, with one in five saying they are likely or very likely to install a heat pump within the next five years.

The Scottish Government’s draft Heat in Buildings strategy, published in February 2021, set out the target of switching one million homes to low and zero carbon emission heating systems by 2030. This ambitious target is in line with Scotland’s updated Climate Change Plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2045.

Heat pumps – usually air source or ground source – are modern, low carbon heating systems that are much more energy efficient than boilers and traditional electric heating. 21% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from our homes, with three quarters coming from our heating and hot water. This means that heat pumps will continue to play a crucial role in meeting net zero carbon targets and addressing the climate emergency.

Of those surveyed in the research, fewer than half (41%) of those already aware of heat pumps said they had a good understanding of how heat pumps work. Younger people, and those that live rurally, were more likely to say they had a good understanding. Installing more heat pumps is key to achieving the government’s ambitious net zero target by reducing a home’s carbon emissions and this needs to start with raising awareness with homeowners.

The survey was carried out by Energy Saving Trust’s Scottish Home Renewables Service, which delivers the specialist renewables advice from Home Energy Scotland.

As part of its mission to help people in Scotland create warmer homes, reduce their bills and tackle climate change, Home Energy Scotland are highlighting its source of free, expert advice and information to help residents learn more and take the next steps towards low carbon heating.

Home Energy Scotland has several online tools that are free for all to use.

  • The Home Renewables Selector will help you find out if a heat pump is potentially suitable for your home.
  • The Green Homes Network has case studies of homeowners who have already successfully switched to a heat pump to help you learn more about the installation process.
  • The Renewables Installer Finder will help you find suitable installers in your area.
  • The Funding Finder helps find funding options to cover the cost of installation. This includes the Home Energy Scotland Loan, funded by the Scottish Government, which can be used to install various renewable technologies and energy efficiency measures.

Harry Mayers, Head of Home Energy Scotland, said:

“Our research shows that the majority of Scots have heard of heat pumps, which is great news.

The number of people who say they are likely to install a heat pump in the next five years is also very encouraging, although there is still more to be done. Getting one million homes to switch to low carbon heating is an ambitious target but it’s an important one if we are going to tackle the climate emergency – and Home Energy Scotland is on hand to help.

“We have specialist renewables advisors based across Scotland who can give expert, impartial advice on switching to a heat pump. We also have a range of online tools that are free to use and will help people find out more about their options, identify an installer, and research available funding to help cover the cost of installation. This includes not only the interest-free Home Energy Scotland Loan but also an attractive cashback that aims to help more people install renewable and energy efficiency improvements in their homes.”

Read the full report.