Overview of key barriers to accelerating the deployment of heat pumps and corresponding policy solutions

Accelerating the deployment of heat pumps hinges on overcoming a number of barriers, some of which are universal while others are specific to particular countries or regions. For heat pumps in buildings these barriers include both barriers on the demand side – cost and other market hurdles to customer adoption of heat pumps – and the supply side – practical constraints on expanding manufacturing and the availability of sufficient numbers of trained installers. The key policy options to address these barriers are summarised in the table below.


Policy solutions

Demand side

Cost barriers

Upfront costs:

· Grants

· Low‐interest loans

· Tax rebates

· Green mortgages

· Alternative business models

· Risk mitigation schemes for medium‐ to large‐scale projects

Operating costs:

· Rebalancing electricity and fossil fuel taxes, CO2 tax with compensation

· Electricity tariff reforms

· Support for building insulation and heat distribution system upgrades

· Quality and settings control after installation

· User training

Non‐cost hurdles to consumer adoption

· One‐stop‐shop platforms for consumers and comparer tools

· Facilitation and support of alternative business models for heating to address split incentives

· Regulation changes for optics, noise and building permissions

· Revision of decision‐making rules in multi‐owner buildings

· Minimum energy efficiency requirements for rented properties or at point‐of‐sale transactions

· Performance labels for heating technologies

· Information campaigns towards consumers

· Independent and free audits to inform heating system replacement decisions

Supply side

Manufacturing constraints and supply chain vulnerabilities

· Long‐term certainty in policy support and regulations, as well as visibility into forthcoming regulation changes, including industry consultation

· National heat pump deployment targets and roadmaps

· Industrial policy including financial support to manufacturers

· Securing of heat pump component supply chains

Shortages of skilled installers

· Integration of heat pumps in pre‐existing certifications for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), construction, and electrical professions

· Incentives to attract HVAC professionals to gain additional certifications

· Reinforcing manufacturer‐run trainings and simplify installation process

· Internationally standardised certification schemes with broad curricula

· National heat pump deployment targets and roadmaps to build confidence and provide professionals with long‐term employment prospects