60% of UK homeowners plan to install solar – and 26% have already considered a heat pump

Survey from City Plumbing reveals huge potential of solar PV and heat pump market

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A survey of homeowners has underlined the sheer size of the solar and heat pump opportunity for installers. Almost two thirds, 60%, say they are planning to invest in solar panels. And more than a quarter, 26% say they have already considered a heat pump – with 39% saying they are familiar with heat pump technology.

The poll, commissioned by national plumbing, heating and renewables merchant City Plumbing and conducted by Censuswide, asked 2,011 homeowners across the UK how eco-conscious they were and what it would take for them to consider having renewables installed.

The results make for positive reading for the industry. More than 1.3 million homes have solar panel installations, according to the latest MCS data - meaning 4.1% of the 29 million homes in the UK are currently generating electricity from solar panels. Of these properties, 35.1% were detached, 31.1% semi-detached, 20.1% terraced and the remaining 14% flats, apartments and other domestic dwellings, demonstrating the flexibility and wide appeal of the solution.

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The survey revealed:

  • Almost two thirds of homeowners expect to install solar.
  • More than a quarter, 26% say they have already considered installing a heat pump.

The result also painted a picture of a country which cares about the environment:

  • On average, people expect to install solar panels within the next 5 years and 5 months.
  • 71% of homeowners are concerned about the environmental impact of traditional energy sources. Only 8% said they were unconcerned.
  • 64% of people say self-sufficiency is important to them when it comes to energy storage in their home, with 19% saying it is really important.
  • That figure rose to 80% of those aged 18-24 and 71% of those aged 25-34.
  • 75% believe solar panels are a reliable source of energy.

Hemal Morjaria, Managing Director of Energy Efficiency at City Plumbing, said: “These statistics really do underline the market potential for solar PV and heat pumps in the UK and the opportunity ahead for installers who transition their business to new technologies.

“The opportunity to reduce energy bills remains a big driver for consumers and that’s something heat pumps and solar PV can help tackle when combined with battery storage.

“This is a good time for installers, engineers and electricians to take up training in how to install renewables, which is why we’ve partnered with GTEC training to help them on their journey via our Energy Efficiency Centre.”

When asked what would persuade more people to put up solar panels, the top answers were:

  1. Reducing energy bills 56% (rising to 67% for those aged 35-44).
  2. Government subsidies 32%.
  3. Generating my own energy 27%.
  4. Reducing carbon footprint 24%.

And when they were asked what was putting them off, they said:

  1. High upfront costs 70%.
  2. Reliability and maintenance 24%.
  3. Lack of knowledge about solar panels 23%.
  4. Limited space 18%.
  5. Perceived ugliness of panels 13%.

Hemal Morjaria added: “Government support in providing subsidies to make renewables more affordable is part of the answer, but installers can play a big part in helping homeowners understand better the benefits too.

“What’s most encouraging from this survey is the sheer size of the potential market if together we can get it right. The public is showing interest in both Solar PV and heat pumps and their knowledge is growing. All of us in the industry, including installers, can help to build that knowledge.”