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British Gas launches new heat pump offering targeting 20,000 annual installations by 2025

British Gas is targeting 1,000 installations by the end of the year. Image: British Gas.

British Gas is targeting 1,000 installations by the end of the year. Image: British Gas.

British Gas has launched a new air source heat pump offering, with the first unit to be installed in Woolacombe, North Devon in February.

The company will initially launch the installation service in the south west, which will include installations in social housing, before expanding it nationwide. The Centrica subsidiary, under its PH Jones brand, plans to install up to 1,000 heat pumps in homes this year, growing this to 20,000 installations per year by 2025.

British Gas is planning to integrate the heat pumps with its smart home system Hive later this year, allowing customers to remotely manage their heating.

It pointed to the key role of heat pumps in decarbonising heating in the UK, stating that they are highly efficient and capable of generating more than three units of heat for every electricity unit that they use.

“There will not be a single solution for every home but it’s important we act now to start customers on this journey,” said Jana Siber, managing director, British Gas.

“Heat pumps are an essential part of decarbonising heat and the momentum around this technology is building. To ensure we can meet the demand that’s coming, we’ve committed to training 3,500 apprentices over the next decade, many of whom will develop specialist green skills."

A shortage of skilled workers in the low carbon heating sector was recently identified as a key challenge for decarbonisation in the UK by the Energy Systems Catapult. The training of apprentices will be crucial to meet the government’s target of 600,000 heat pump installations annually by 2028, as laid out initially in the Ten Point Plan.

British Gas said heat pumps are the best immediate option for off-grid homes and those that are well insulated, of which there are millions.

A study by the Electrification of Heat project in December found that heat pumps are suitable for all property types and architectural era, although some older properties may include additional challenges. This rebuffed the common criticism of heat pumps, which centres on some housing stock being unsuitable for the technology and/or requiring substantial retrofitting and insulation upgrades.

“I am delighted to see that the first of many new air source heat pumps being installed by British Gas taking place here in Woolacombe, North Devon,” added Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon.

“With the cost of gas and energy likely to be high over the next few years, never has there been a better time to invest in reducing your energy usage and your carbon footprint at the same time.”

Gas prices grew by around 500% in 2021, leading to an energy crisis that so far has seen 27 suppliers collapse last year while the price cap is expected to jump by nearly 50% in April. If this happens, millions of households will be pushed into fuel stress, with growing calls from charities and industry for the government to act to mitigate the impact.

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