The UK is facing a major challenge in its transition to low-carbon heating. One of the biggest obstacles is the shortage of qualified heat pump installers. There are currently only around 3,000 heat pump engineers in the UK, and this number is nowhere near enough to meet the government’s target of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028.
In addition to the shortage of installers, there are also concerns about the quality of some heat pump installations. There have been reports of installers making mistakes that have resulted in heat pumps not working properly or even causing damage to homes.
One of the most common problems with heat pump installations is that they are not sized correctly. This can lead to the heat pump being too big or too small for the home, which can result in either underheating or overheating.
Another common problem is that the heat pump is not installed correctly, which can make it inefficient and expensive to run.
The incompetence of some heat pump installers is a major problem that is holding back the UK’s transition to low-carbon heating. It is important for homeowners to do their research and choose a reputable installer who is qualified to install heat pumps correctly.
Here are some tips for choosing a heat pump installer:
- Ask for references from previous customers.
- Make sure the installer is a member of a professional trade association, such as the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). This is not a guarantee for high quality or recourse if things go wrong, but it gives you a slim fighting chance.
- Check the installer’s insurance and warranty policies.
- Get everything in writing, including the price of the installation, the warranty, and the terms of the contract.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your heat pump is installed correctly and that you are protected in the event of any problems.
What is being done to address the problem?
The government is aware of the problem of incompetent heat pump installers and is taking steps to address it. In 2022, the government launched a £5 million Heat Training Grant to help more people become qualified heat pump installers. The government is also working with industry bodies to develop new standards and training programs for heat pump installers.
In addition to government initiatives, there are also a number of private sector organizations that are working to improve the quality of heat pump installations. For example, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is a trade association that sets standards for heat pump installers and products. MCS-certified installers must meet strict criteria in order to be certified, which helps to ensure that they are qualified to install heat pumps correctly.
The problem of incompetent heat pump installers is a serious one, but there are a number of initiatives underway to address it. With continued effort, it is hoped that the UK will be able to overcome this challenge and meet its target of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028.