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Heat pump interest high but knowledge low

UK: Nearly half of British consumers are interested in installing a heat pump, but an understanding of heat pump technology is still low, a new survey finds.

The new research from Mitsubishi Electric and Ipsos amongst 1,000 UK adults revealed that consumers want to support the environment, and there is growing consumer appetite for heat pump technology.

Of those surveyed, 76% believed they have a responsibility to cut carbon impact and help get to net zero, but 34% still aren’t aware of the most environmentally friendly way to heat their homes.  

Nearly half (42%) of consumers said they do have some interest in installing heat pump technology, but only 13% of respondents are currently aware of the environmental benefits that heat pumps offer, and 71% know little to nothing about how heat pump technology works. 

More broadly, Mitsubishi Electric says that 34% don’t know the most environmentally friendly ways to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. 

Cost was cited as the key decider behind heat pump uptake. 64% of respondents said the main reason they were interested in, or had already installed, a heat pump was to save money on their energy bills over time. At the same time, the perceived high initial purchase and installation cost was deterring 49% of respondents from installing a heat pump. For 29% the stumbling block was the perceived high running costs.

Respondents believed that the government has a big role to play in driving the move to net zero, in addition to individual efforts. The vast majority (80%) agreed that the government has a responsibility to act to reduce carbon emissions, and 41% said that the government should set a deadline for decarbonisation of the economy.

Jessica Long, head of Ipsos ESG Consulting, insists the government must play a greater role in educating and supporting the public. 

“2026 is widely considered a critical date to achieve net zero targets and heat pumps are undoubtedly one of the resources we will need to utilise in order to reach this target,” she said. “However, our research shows, that heat pump uptake is reliant on government intervention, both in the form of educating the public about the benefits of heat pumps, and providing cost-effective opportunities to install these systems.” 

Ipsos ran the online survey with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 people aged 18-75 across Great Britain. The survey ran between 19 and 21 May 2023.

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