Proposed Heat Pump Federation
There are exciting proposals for the Ground Source Heat Pump Association to merge with the Heat Pump Association to create a more powerful unified voice to speak for the heat pump industry in the UK: the Heat Pump Federation.
Heat Pump technology has come through a fairly rough decade of successive well-meant but poorly constructed government policies and fluctuating oil prices but there is now considerable hope for the future. The carbon battle has been fought and largely won, with the well-flagged removal of coal from electricity generation, and of oil from the heat in buildings between now and 2030. A snapshot of the carbon advantage of the deployment of heat pumps is now constantly available in the Carbon Emissions Calculator on this website. However, new challenges will need to be met if we are to see heat pumps become the mainstream building services technology.
Lobbying for Heat Pumps
The electrification of heat is a core government policy, but this cannot be taken for granted. Biofuels and hydrogen are being proposed as alternative energy sources, and the reducing carbon factor for grid electricity brings into play the prospect of direct resistive electrical heat as a genuine low carbon alternative. These other technologies are very well supported by strong backers with deep pockets. In many ways, they are stronger and better financed than the oil, gas and biomass sectors which heat pumps have had to contend with in recent years. For heat pumps to thrive and to gain an appropriate share of a mixed energy sector, serving a flourishing UK economy, our lobbying and representation at government level and at all other points of contact, such as BRE, MCS, OFGEM, Each Home Counts, CIBSE and with specifiers, will need to be as robust as we can make it. It is also essential that the heat pump sector is united from end to end; from supply chain, right through to end user.
United voice for the heat pump industry
The GSHPA Council has debated this future and has sought to learn the lessons from the past. Fragmentation of heat pump representation has always confused those who we interact with, especially the Ministry, and has provided other technologies with a clear divide and conquer opportunity. To combat the new forces ranged against us and to ensure that heat pump technology has the strongest possible representation in the coming years, the Council proposes that the existing two heat pump Associations merge to form a single united body with the critical mass and combined resources that both have struggled to attain independently.
Integration of manufacturers and installers
Our Association is largely installer lead. By contrast, the Heat Pump Association is largely manufacturer based. There are obvious synergies. Many of our installers work with both ground source and air source heat pumps. Most of the manufacturers produce both types of heat pumps. Many of our installers are already working closely with the manufacturers that they represent by taking part in the various approved installer schemes. There is no longer any real argument to be had between ground source and air source. A maturing heat market recognises that each approach has its place and for one to thrive, both must thrive.
In addition to merging the two Associations it is proposed that the new Heat Pump Federation will become a member of The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations, FETA. Taking a place inside this industry federation will strengthen the voice that the heat pump sector will enjoy and will encorage heat pump technology on the path to its rightful place within the building industry in the UK as "core environmental technology". We all need heat pumps to be the mainstream technology of first choice to deliver heating and cooling to both domestic and commercial buildings, new build and retrofit. This must be the aim of the new Federation.
Support from all members
To be successfull, any merger must have the greatest possible support from the members of both merging Associations and early indications are that the proposal is being welcomed by nearly all members of both Associations.
A detailed proposal will be published to allow our members to have the opportunity to consider the proposals prior to a vote to be held in November.
The Council hopes that all our members will recognise that a changing world needs a new approach to heat pump representation, and commends the proposed merger to you and looks forward to providing a fully developed proposal for your consideration over the coming weeks.