WQ85534 (e) Tabled on 17/06/2022

What discussions has the Minister had with the UK Government and local authorities regarding changing the requirement within the air-source heat pump grant to have 3 meters each side of the pump, considering 5m is the average terraced house width and terraced houses in Rhondda often have lower-than-average energy efficiency?

Answered by Minister for Climate Change | Answered on 28/06/2022

I have not had discussions with the UK Government or local authorities on this matter.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a grant scheme administered by Ofgem across England and Wales.  £450m is available over 3 years to fund heat pumps and biomass boilers.  The scheme is installer-led, meaning installers who are certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) apply to the scheme on behalf of the property owners.  The grant scheme does not prescribe that a pump must be installed a specific distance away from a boundary. However, installations under the scheme are required to meet relevant planning requirements. In this instance this includes the requirement for a planning application to be submitted for the installation of a heat pump if it is to be sited within 3m of the property boundary.

Permitted development rights allow air source heat pumps to be installed without the need for a planning application. Permitted development rights do not seek to prescribe where a heat pump should be installed but rather establish a set of criteria which if met mean a development can proceed without the submission of a planning application. If the criteria are not met, a planning application is required to allow the local planning authority to consider the development and its potential impacts. The submission of a planning application is not a negative judgement on a development’s acceptability. Most residential planning applications are approved.

A proportion of the domestic air source heat pumps installed to date in the UK have been found to result in neighbour noise complaints. In certain cases, this noise may constitute a statutory nuisance under environmental health legislation. In areas of higher housing density, it is more likely that a domestic heat pump will generate noise adversely impacting neighbours. The Welsh Government anticipates that improvements in technology will remove noise from air source heat pumps as an issue over time.