Over half of UK builders unable to advise on heat pumps

New research from E.ON has found that 56% of builders in the UK say they don’t have the right information to advise on heat pumps.

The study also revealed that 43% of Brits are planning to renovate their home this year, with 75% wanting to choose sustainable options when they upgrade.

More than two fifths (44%) of builders say they wouldn’t recommend a heat pump to customers simply because they’re unaware of the benefits they can provide for homeowners. This is despite increasing demand for sustainable home solutions amongst those looking to renovate their home, with 82% of builders seeing more interest from customers in sustainable renovations in the past year.

To help build confidence and knowledge amongst builders and homeowners about the benefits of heat pumps, E.ON has teamed up with established architectural designer Charlie Luxton.

He said:

As the nation becomes increasingly environmentally conscious, it makes sense that we’re turning our attention to sustainable home solutions and learning more about how they can benefit us in the long run.

When it comes to advising on sustainable home solutions, only a third (30%) of builders feel comfortable advising on the installation of heat pumps if asked by a customer. This is much lower than their confidence around wall and loft insulation (50%), double and triple glazed windows (43%), solar panels (42%) and energy efficient boilers (41%).

In fact, builders are more comfortable talking to customers about building materials being out of stock (46%) and unforeseen costs on a project (40%) than they are about heat pumps (30%).

Dr Alastair Hotchkiss, Heat Pump Product Manager at E.ON, said:
It’s great to see that three-quarters of people want to make their homes more sustainable with solutions such as heat pumps, but there are many misconceptions about the benefits they can offer.

Heating homes accounts for 17% of UK carbon emissions2 – most of which are from gas boilers. We need to make new energy work and if the UK is to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 we must reduce our reliance on gas; heat pumps are a fantastic way to do that, as well as making your home more sustainable and reducing your heating costs. Here at E.ON, we want to help increase the take-up of heat pumps and help close the knowledge gap that currently exists amongst both builders and the general public.

Find out the latest on heat pumps at InstallerSHOW 2024 – running 25-27 June at the NEC.