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Dutch heat pump sales up 36%

NETHERLANDS: Despite a downturn in growth in Q4, initial heat pump sales figures in the Netherlands for 2023 are said to have reached 150,000.

According to manufacturers’ sales figures, 150,000 heat pumps were delivered to wholesalers and installers throughout 2023 for residential construction and renovation. That represents a 36% increase on 2022, after eight years of double-digit growth. In 2023, the heat pump had a 30% market share, with growth clearly coming at the expense of sales of stand-alone gas boilers for the first time.

The figures revealed by the Dutch heat pump association, Vereniging Warmtepompen, indicate that more than 40,000 all-electric heat pumps were sold in new construction last year. Sales doubled in existing buildings from more than 50,000 in 2022 to almost 110,000 in 2023. At least half of these are hybrid.

The growth in heat pump sales in 2023 is entirely due to the first three quarters. With almost 80% year-on-year growth in those three quarters, this led to a previous expectation of 170,000 heat pumps sold in 2023. 

The fourth quarter saw a contraction of 30% compared to Q4 2022, which puts the Netherlands back in line with other European countries where stagnation in growth occurred earlier.

The figures are based on the numbers of heat pumps supplied by manufacturers rather than actual installation numbers. The industry attributes the apparent contraction in the fourth quarter to the reduction of wholesalers’ and installers’ inventories. 

Without additional measures, the residential heat pump market is expected to stabilise at around 150,000 units in 2024. The limited installation capacity remains one of the major limiting factors. In addition, natural gas will become cheaper again in 2023, which will reduce the incentive of the previous high gas prices. Furthermore, concerns about congestion on the electricity grid are leading to increasing caution among policymakers.

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