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Government to relax rules on heat pumps, Gove reveals

heat pumps

The government is considering relaxing heat pump rules in England which manufacturers believe could result in a boost in sales, Michael Gove's housing department has revealed.

It is consultation on removing a restriction that they must be at least one metre from the boundary of a property (under existing permitted development rights), which it says isn’t necessary from a noise control perspective and causes an unnecessary barrier to their roll-out.

Current rules also limit a heat pump’s outdoor compressor unit to 0.6 cubic metres, which a government review says is preventing the development of quieter models for the mass market.

It believes this volume should be increased and is also considering whether to let detached homes install a maximum of two air source heat pumps and blocks of flats to install more than one.


Daniel Särefjord (pictured), CEO of heat pump supplier Aira UK, says this will unlock the true potential of clean energy technology, while making it easier for consumers to install a heat pump.

He adds: “Contrary to misconceptions, residential heat pumps only consume a small amount of energy and are actually four times more efficient than a gas boiler.

"Sound levels tend to be another concern for UK consumers; however, technology has developed a lot in recent years and heat pumps now produce as little sound as a home refrigerator.”

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme now offers £7,500 of the cost of installation, but many landlords are still reluctant to switch their gas boilers. Many believe any money earmarked for green improvements would be better spent bringing rental properties up to modern insulation standards, particularly with pressure growing on private landlords to banish mould from cold homes.

However, with the Labour party back-tracking on its planned £28 billion annual budget for green energy improvements, a general election could see any new initiatives binned.


Air source heat pumps
Heat pump
Heat pumps