EU Commission postpones heat pump plan until after the EU elections

The European Commission has postponed its Heat Pump Action Plan until after the EU elections, despite repeated assurances that the plan would be released in early 2024.
EU Commission postpones heat pump plan until after the EU elections
Courtesy of NREL.

The original aim was to launch the plan as soon as the revised Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) law was finalised. That finalisation is a step closer today, with the Council’s adoption of the directive. However, the European Commission has now decided to postpone the launch of the Heat Pump Action Plan until after the EU elections, when a new Commission will be in place. This may in turn impose a significant delay in the publication of the plan.

Heat pump sales have fallen this year, causing the sector to call for strong policy support in the form of ambitious targets and a comprehensive action plan. Manufacturers have also invested over 7 billion euros in production capacity and training of installers, building on the key role given to heat pumps in the Green Deal, Fit for 55°C package, and in REPowerEU.

The decision to delay the launch of the Heat Pump Action Plan has drawn a strong reaction from the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) in particular.

“Europe is falling behind on the decarbonisation of heat” said Thomas Nowak, secretary general of EHPA. “Yet, rather than tackle the issue by developing and publishing the promised Heat Pump Action Plan, the Commission has kicked it into the long grass. This will not only impact the sector and its 7 billion euros of European investments, it will impact Europe’s path to net zero and all the consumers who want nothing more than to be able to choose affordable and sustainable clean heating. Postponing the finalisation of this plan to after the election can only be called a mistake. We urge President von der Leyen, Commissioner for Energy Simson and all Commissioners to review and revert it urgently.”

Along with 23 other organisations, EHPA developed a ‘heat pump accelerator’ which details the barriers and solutions to increase heat pump roll-out and can be applied both at EU and national level.

This was handed to EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson in June as input to the heat pump action plan. In EHPA’s view the plan should be complemented by national action strategies that address the often huge difference between gas and electricity prices, in order to trigger demand for heat pumps.

For additional information:

European Commission

European Heat Pump Association (EHPA)

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