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UK heat pump rollout criticised as too slow by public spending watchdog

(The Guardian, 18 Mar 2024) Installations must speed up 11-fold as advisers say latest changes to scheme likely to make 2028 target even harder.

The public spending watchdog has criticised the slow pace of the government’s heat pump rollout just days after ministers postponed an important scheme designed to increase the rate of installations.

A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has found that heat pump installations would need to accelerate 11-fold if the government is to reach its target for 600,000 heat pumps installed in homes every year by 2028.

With the number of heat pump installations by December 2023 running at less than half the number anticipated, Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, said the government’s progress in making households aware of low-carbon heating alternatives and encouraging them to take them up had “been slower than expected”.

The report was finalised shortly before the government revealed last week that it would delay by a year a scheme requiring heating installers to fit more low-carbon heat pumps – which is expected to make the targets even harder to reach.

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The Guardian, 18 Mar 2024: UK heat pump rollout criticised as too slow by public spending watchdog