(Bloomberg) -- Heat pumps may be essential to Britain’s ambitions to cut emissions and reduce exposure to volatile energy markets, but sales are stubbornly low and uptake of the low-carbon technology is among the worst in Europe. 

That’s according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit think tank, which found that Finland has sold more than 40 times as many heat pumps per 100,000 people than the UK. Even France, a relative newcomer to the market, has increased installations 12-fold compared with Britain. 

This is despite a government pledge of £450 million ($554 million) to help people upgrade natural gas boilers to heat pumps in order to meet a target of 600,000 new fittings each year by 2028. If installed at the same rate to 2032 as Norway, one of Europe’s leaders in heat pump sales, the technology could displace 70% of UK domestic gas usage, according to ECIU’s analysis.

Heat pumps use electricity to draw in warmth from outside or underground for low-carbon home heating and hot water. 


--With assistance from Kari Lundgren.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.