The SEAI has launched two new reports today on the uptake of heat pumps, coinciding with the SEAI Energy Show 2024 at the RDS this week.

The SEAI estimates that roughly 250,000 oil-heated Irish homes are ready for heat pumps in terms of their airtightness and existing insulation. 

Installers of heat pumps were interviewed for one of the reports, while the other report provides insights from homeowners across Ireland.

SEAI Energy Show 2024

New Heat Pump Research Findings

The studies found that homeowners in “heat pump ready homes” are ready to switch from a fossil boiler to an electric heat pump — but not until their current system needs to be replaced.

While the current grants available are an incentive, more supports would further boost heat pump uptake, the study found.

Many homeowners are not aware of the available grants at all – while others are deterred by complex paperwork.

The research also found that both environmental and financial considerations are important for heat pump adoption.

Several recommendations are made in the reports. These include targeting interventions at homeowners with older boilers, new measures to increase the convenience of heat pumps as an option for emergency replacements, further grant supports, and ensuring heat pump running costs remain competitive. 

Report author, Dr Hannah Julienne, Programme Manager of Behavioural Economics at the SEAI, said that the research shows that homeowners are generally positive about heat pumps.

She said that they are willing to pay for one, but only when their existing heating system has come to the end of its life.

“Given that many of these homes have older boilers that will need replacing in the next few years, it is crucial we support these homeowners and ensure that when the time for replacement comes, they make the switch to a heat pump rather than getting locked into another decade or more of fossil fuel use,” said Dr Julienne.

The reports were released today as over 3,000 people attend Ireland’s leading business to business energy event at the RDS. 

Those in attendance can expect to experience the latest technologies and see best practice in action, as well as cultivating new networking opportunities.

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