A Swedish heat pump firm has pledged to inject £300m into the UK over the next three years and create 8,000 jobs by 2033 in a boost to government plans to shift UK homes away from gas boilers.
In an announcement today, Stockholm-based Aira has said it is aiming to convert some one million homes in Britain off gas boilers and slash overall UK emissions by the equivalent of taking two million cars off the roads.
Britain still relies on around 25m fossil fuel boilers to heat homes which account for 16 per cent of the nation’s CO2 emissions. However, ministers are looking to push homeowners away from gas boilers and increase heat pump uptake to 600,000 installations a year by 2028.
“The UK is a crucial market to decarbonise, being one of Europe’s most populated countries and with the lowest heat pump penetration rate of just one per cent,” said Aira group chief Martin Lewerth.
The firm’s plans will see it massively ramp up supply of its heat pump product to the UK in a move backed by the energy secretary Claire Coutinho.
Coutinho described the commitment from Aira as a “fantastic” boost to efforts to wean the UK off gas boilers.
“Their investment will also create 8,000 new jobs here in the UK, growing our economy and helping us make the green transition,” she added.
The mission to convert the UK away from gas boiler has seen pushback from some areas of the energy industry however. Gas distribution firm Cadent told City A.M. in August the plans were “not deliverable“.
Under Aira’s plans, the firm will also set up a series of “Aira Academies” across the UK to train up workers as ‘Clean Energy Experts’.
Cost has typically been a barrier to a faster roll-out of heat pumps in the UK, with prices reaching as high as £18,000 for a two-three bedroom house, according to Greenmatch. Buyers are able to claim some of the cost back under the government’s boiler upgrade scheme.
Aira said it will look mitigate cost with a buy-now pay-later monthly payment model with zero upfront cost.