Graphic: Actions to drive heat pump deployment in the Chinese buildings sector

Driving heat pump deployment in buildings

Heat pump deployment in China’s buildings sector can be optimised through adoption
and co-ordination of Immediate, medium-term, and long-term actions.

Immediate actions

  • Improve the focus of existing subsidy schemes to promote heat pumps
  • Encourage new business models for clean heating services
  • Promote awareness campaigns on the benefits of heat pumps for carbon neutrality
  • Review installer, operations and maintenance capacity and training schemes
  • Work towards revision and unification of standards and labels for household heating equipment

Medium-term actions (2026-2030)

  • Set targets for heat pump deployment in line with China’s 30-60 targets
  • Phase down subsidies for fossil fuel heating technologies, freeing up resources for promoting clean heating solutions
  • Promote market-based incentives for coal-to-electricity switching
  • Introduce certification requirements for heat pump installers
  • Introduce zero-emission building standards for all new buildings
  • Promote large-scale thermal retrofits in rural areas

Supply chain long-term actions (2030 onwards)

  • Introduce mandatory energy performance requirements for major renovations
  • Ensure all buildings are grid-interactive enabled
  • Promote heat pump flexibility and power system integration
  • Expand access to dynamic electricity pricing for end consumers
  • Fully establish a market-based model for clean heating

Immediate priorities for promoting awareness and increasing support for heat pump uptake should be combined with medium-term action to accelerate adoption, increase provision of clean electricity and integrate heat pumps into broader buildings policies.