Sales of heat pumps dropped significantly. The industry is counting on a rebound

Sales of heat pumps dropped significantly.  The industry is counting on a rebound

Last year was not a successful year for the heating equipment industry – admits the Polish Organization for the Development of Heat Pump Technology (PORT PC). Sales in this sector dropped by over 30 percent, and in the case of single-family houses by about 40 percent. The president of the management board of this organization counts on the government's active policy. Possible solutions include: introducing a special tariff for heat pumps and reducing VAT on electricity. He estimates that under favorable circumstances, sales of heat pumps may increase by 20% in 2024.

Sales of heating devices in 2023 have undergone a significant decline. On the scale of the entire market, it shrank by more than 1/3. In the single-family building segment alone, the declines amounted to approximately 40%. compared to 2022. Powerful braking up to 41%. also has the heat pump market behind it. Only ground pumps were above the mark with 12%. growth. PORT PC lists the reasons for this state of affairs as the unfavorable situation on the construction market. There was a noticeable weakening of the economic situation, especially in the individual construction industry.

Industry representatives have no doubt that uncertainty regarding electricity bills is behind the poor sales results for 2023.

– First of all, energy prices and, in fact, fear of electricity prices, even though the facts contradict many theses, that is, electricity prices in this part, apart from the basic freeze, are significantly higher than two years ago. However, this year, at the beginning of January, we had a reduction in energy prices in the G12w tariff, i.e. the weekend tariff, often used in heat pumps, and this was a drop in prices together with distribution from several to even 17 percent. in the case of Tauron. So we can clearly see a reduction in energy prices – emphasizes Paweł Lachman, president of the management board of the Polish Organization for the Development of Heat Pump Technology (PORT PC).

PORT PC also points to the lack of a decisive and unambiguous information policy that would clearly present the prospects for energy prices in the future. In its materials, the organization also draws attention to the fact that many publications continue to fear future increases in electricity prices.

– In general, 2024 is a year of waiting for the heating equipment industry and the heat pump industry also clearly feels it. Firstly, changes are underway in the Clean Air program in the context of requirements related to co-financing heat pumps and devices that are subject to testing in accredited laboratories, this concerns the list of UTIs, i.e. green technologies in the Clean Air program, but also the obligation related to testing in accredited laboratories. – says Paweł Lachman.

Consumers are still not investing due to the continuing uncertainty about the future prices of electricity and other energy carriers.

– There are announcements from the election campaign, but many potential investors simply refrain from investing – adds the president of PORT PC.

For this reason, among others, the industry encourages the government to actively engage in the promotion and policy supporting investments in heat pumps.

– To prepare, as in other countries, special tariffs for heat pumps, so that when someone installs a heat pump, they are included in this tariff, this tariff should also take into account certain benefits resulting from the flexibility of heat pumps when it comes to the power grid . We are calling for this and I hope that it will be listened to, because heat pumps are quite important, in fact a key technology in the field of energy transformation, not only in the European Union, but in the world in general – postulates the expert.

Such action was already announced during the election campaign before the autumn parliamentary elections. PORT PC recalls the demands of the Civic Platform and hopes that they will be met in 2024. The source of financing for such activities could be revenues from emission tax. But these are not all the ideas. Another solution, which was already indicated by Brussels in 2022, is to reduce VAT on electricity to 5%.

– The European Commission encouraged Member States to take such action. But in fact, it is also about a comprehensive approach, because heat pumps are a heating technology that uses renewable energy sources, because 2/3, and with higher efficiency 3/4, of the energy transmitted by a heat pump are renewable energy sources – reminds Paweł Lachman.

According to data from the Central Emission Register of Buildings from the first half of last year. Solid fuel boilers are still approximately one third of the heat sources in Poland. More than half of these are coal-fired installations. As of April 2023, over 300,000 people used heat pumps. farms. This translates into a symbolic percentage of 2-3%. all heated objects.

The industry hopes for the publication of the “Action Plan for the Dissemination of Heat Pumps”, which is being developed at the EU level. It is known that the document will appear with a delay, but it should happen in 2024. In this way, the EU wants to identify the best possible strategies and coordinate activities for the dissemination of heat pump technology.

The sale of heat pumps may be supported by funds from the KPO, which are to be allocated, among others, to: for investments aimed at energy transformation and the development of renewable energy sources. The money will therefore go, for example, to the implementation of the Clean Air program by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚiGW). The industry points out that the issue of subsidies for investments in heat pumps requires systemic changes.

– Changes are needed to increase the requirements for larger subsidies, to ensure that the building is not an energy vampire, which means an energy audit is necessary. It is also necessary to increase the requirements for companies that carry out this work, because there have been a lot of irregularities related to the third group of funding in Clean Air, where the funding is 100%. up to the net amount, and a 50% prepayment is also possible. This solution is mainly beneficial for these companies and I think that quick changes are necessary in the scope of the third group of funding – says the president of PORT PC.

The Polish Organization for the Development of Heat Pump Technology in its optimistic forecast expects that in 2024 the industry will record an increase in device sales by a maximum of 20%. Such a projection will be possible if several important conditions are met, such as stability and predictability of electricity prices.

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