Adoption of heat pumps in newly built homes – Confused.com

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Posted 4 weeks ago

As gas boilers are being phased out, the home construction industry has the choice of using  eco-friendly heating systems. Heat pumps, like air source and ground source, are emerging as sustainable alternatives. 

We take a look at how many new homes in England and Wales have these heating methods installed. We also see which areas are leading in their adoption.

How many new builds have heat pumps installed?

Newly built homes in England and Wales that have been constructed with heat pumps between 2019 and 2023

New builds with type of heat pumpNumber of new builds% of total new builds
Air source heat pump49,4894.53%
Ground source heat pump4,2700.39%
Total53,7584.92%

Air source and ground source heat pumps (GSHP) are only in a small number of new builds. Since 2019 air source heat pumps have been installed in 4.53% of new homes, while ground source heat pumps are in just 0.39%. Together, they’re in 4.92% of all new builds in England and Wales. This means around 54,000 new homes are using these green options.

Is the adoption of heat pumps in new builds improving?

Yes. Between 2018 and 2023, the installation of air source and ground source heat pumps in new homes across England and Wales has increased. Installation of air source heat pumps went from 2.68% in 2018 to 7.58% in 2023, a jump of 4.9 percentage points. Ground source heat pumps rose from 0.21% to 0.47% in 2023, a change of 0.26 percentage points. 

The increases are modest, but there’s a definite move towards greener heating in newly built homes, fueled by environmental consciousness and advancements in renewable energy technology.

Hand holding light bulb with icons energy sources for renewable,love the world concept.

Which areas are leading the way for heat pump installations in new builds?

Top 10 local authorities in England and Wales with the largest per cent of new builds with air source heat pumps between 2018 and 2023

Local authority nameNumber of new builds with air source heat pump% of new builds with air source heat pump
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk129352.12%
Ceredigion30739.26%
Breckland121338.58%
Tandridge44036.24%
Mid Suffolk104728.20%
Isle of Anglesey28926.93%
Babergh58626.15%
East Cambridgeshire63825.57%
Powys43624.99%
Cornwall335924.42%

In King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, over half of new homes built between 2018 and 2023 heat pumps installed, followed by Ceredigion with 39.26% and Breckland with 38.58%. Whereas, some areas like Liverpool (0.08%), Halton (0.08%), and Sandwell (0.04%) have very low adoption rates of air source heat pumps in newly built homes.

Top 10 local authorities in England and Wales with the largest per cent of new builds with ground source heat pumps between 2019 and 2023

Local authority nameNumber of new builds with ground source heat pump% of new builds with ground source heat pump
Pendle837.78%
Rhondda Cynon Taf1146.65%
Warrington1774.77%
Cornwall4773.47%
Bury343.37%
Cardiff1683.00%
Swansea732.84%
Newark and Sherwood832.83%
Luton872.49%
Ceredigion192.43%

Some areas, like Pendle (7.78%), Rhondda Cynon Taf (6.65%), and Warrington (4.77%), stand out with higher adoption rates of ground source heat pumps in new builds. But most areas have lower rates with many below 1%, suggesting slower GSHP uptake overall, especially compared to air source heat pumps.

Which areas have improved the most over 5 years for heat pump installations in new builds?

Top 10 local authorities in England and Wales with the largest per cent increase of new builds with air source heat pumps between 2018 and 2023

Local authority nameNumber of new builds with air source heat pumps in 2018% of new builds with air source heat pumps in 2018Number of new builds with air source heat pump in 2023% of new builds with air source heat pump in 2023Percentage Point change, last 5 years
Bromsgrove30.59%10946.58%46.00%
Cotswold202.29%16747.31%45.02%
Isle of Anglesey135.56%13450.38%44.82%
Pembrokeshire154.08%18644.08%40.00%
Dacorum92.02%20639.85%37.82%
Powys206.97%11837.46%30.49%
Rutland3314.22%3144.29%30.06%
Gwynedd328.27%5338.13%29.86%
Cheltenham122.26%8332.05%29.78%
North Norfolk499.90%6539.39%29.49%

The percentage of new builds installing air source heat pumps has increased across many areas over the last five years.  Showing a growing trend towards sustainable heating solutions. Bromsgrove, Cotswold, Isle of Anglesey, and Pembrokeshire have all seen over a 40% increase in new builds being constructed with an air source heat pump.

Top 10 local authorities in England and Wales with the largest per cent increase of new builds with ground source heat pumps between 2018 and 2023

Local authority nameNumber of new builds with ground source heat pumps in 2018% of new builds with ground source heat pumps in 2018Number of new builds with ground source heat pump in 2023% of new builds with ground source heat pump in 2023Percentage Point change, last 5 years
Pendle10.95%7928.52%27.57%
Luton00.00%8715.00%15.00%
Cardiff20.27%907.86%7.59%
Boston00.00%227.17%7.17%
Herefordshire, County of70.90%435.76%4.86%
Huntingdonshire00.00%594.43%4.43%
Cotswold10.11%164.53%4.42%
Bristol, City of00.00%504.00%4.00%
Cornwall852.53%1546.40%3.87%
Brighton and Hove00.00%423.06%3.06%

In Pendle, the use of ground source heat pumps in new buildings jumped from 0.95% to 28.52% over 5 years, showing more interest in this heating method. In Luton, no new builds had these pumps in 2018, but had increased to 87 in 2023. 

All other areas in England and Wales saw less than a 10 percentage point increase over 5 years, suggesting a much slower takeup of ground source heat pumps compared to air source heat pumps.

Heat pumps in homes are slowly getting more popular.  But are still a long way off from being the most common heating source installed in new homes. Between air source and ground source heat pumps, air source is leading the way. This is likely due to the space required to install it and the overall cost. While the costs of installing greener heating sources are still high, consumers can look for the most cost-effective options for their energy needs by comparing quotes at Confused.com.