According to global heat pumps pioneer Daikin, the Italian ‘Superbonus’ heat pump initiative is the perfect blueprint for other countries aiming to combine decarbonisation of homes with sustainable economic growth.
Courtesy of Daikin
The 'Superbonus' is a key component of Italy's COVID-19 recovery plan, which combines economic growth with the decarbonisation of residential homes. A tax credit for energy efficiency work carried out by homeowners (the 'Ecobonus') has been around for some time, but in July 2020 the Italian government decided to expand the scope of this existing initiative. This makes Italy's Superbonus one of the most ambitious heat pump installation scheme to date.
Daikin has welcomed Italy's commitment to introduce heat pumps in every part of Italian society and believes this will provide a promising blueprint for other governments trying to bring about a 'green' recovery in the post-COVID-19 world.
When purchasing a heat pump or another green energy source, Italians receive a refund from the government on the purchase price of their heating system. More specifically, consumers are granted a 110 percent refund on the purchase price of their heating system via five annual tax breaks.
For consumers who prefer an immediate payback, the Superbonus also gives Italians the option to:
Receive a discount of up to 100 percent on the purchase price of a heating system directly via the installer of the system, who in turn becomes the new bearer of the credit (and can apply for tax breaks)
Receive a refund of up to 100 percent via a “credit pass” to the installer of the heating system, a bank, or another 3rd party (in this case the credit is sold or passed to a new bearer)
Italy's Superbonus is a 'win-win' initiative for the Italian government and consumers alike. The financial benefits of the Superbonus are prompting Italians to install heat pumps, giving consumers easier access to sustainable and efficient heating, while the increased popularity of heat pumps and other sustainable heating systems (e.g. solar panels) means that the government is slashing the carbon output of Italy's residential sector and reducing the country's dependency on fossil fuels.
In the long term, the payback plan will help make sustainable energy solutions such as heat pumps the new norm in Italy. A large number of heat pump production facilities in Europe will pay dividends for the European economy as well as the environment. Daikin Europe alone has 14 production facilities in Europe, making every euro invested in heat pump technology an investment in local job creation and the further development of a growing and innovative industry.
“We welcome Italy's support for carbon-neutral heating in residential homes” said Patrick Crombez, General Manager Daikin Europe Heating and Renewables. “Daikin's heat pumps are made in Europe and have massive sustainability benefits, ensuring that they are ideal for boosting the European economy and shifting the continent towards carbon neutrality. Heat pumps are ready for prime time, and this initiative will help consumers see that heat pumps are a viable option for new buildings and a replacement for fossil-fuel boilers.”
According to Daikin Europe, heat pumps are ready to go mainstream as the heat pump industry is doing its utmost to make its technology accessible by investing in new product features and user friendliness, among other things.
What is happening in Italy shows that governments can support the industry's initiatives by creating a climate in which it can flourish and drawing consumers' attention to sustainable heating solutions. The Superbonus encourages Italians to take a closer look at the ecological advantages and total cost of ownership of a heat pump vis-à-vis a traditional boiler. This gives consumers the final 'nudge' to consider sustainable alternatives to heating systems running on fossil fuels. Over time, countries will reap the rewards of their investments in a growing industry and in the environmental benefits of lower CO2 output.