Briefing Paper Launch:

Accelerating the transition to heat pumps: measuring real-world performance and enabling peer-to-peer learning

Major challenges exist for decarbonising heat in buildings through mass adoption of heat pumps. These include consumer uncertainty and gaps in evidence, data and installer skills. This Energy Futures Lab briefing paper explores in detail the potential impacts and feasibility of one approach to supporting the transition: leveraging early adopters by measuring in-situ heat pump installation outcomes and sharing these as case studies to enable peer-to-peer learning among consumers and installers. Topics discussed include: the role of advice and support in the heat pump adoption customer journey; methods of assessing heat pump and building performance; stakeholder benefits from sharing data; and the context for implementing these recommendations.


Dr Richard Carmichael (CPsychol, FRSA) is Research Associate within the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London and Co-Leader of the Behaviour change in Energy and Environment Policy (‘BEEP’) Research Network. His work focuses on how to accelerate societal and system change for Net Zero, with particular interests in energy, technology adoption, diet, policy and data-led digital tools. He has 14 years’ experience in post-doctoral research and consultancy (including Ofgem, BEIS, Defra) and in 2019 authored ‘Behaviour change, public engagement and Net Zero’, an independent report for the Climate Change Committee that helped to inform their Net Zero report.


    Dr Matthew Aylott, Electrification of Heat Policy Lead, Clean Heat Directorate, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy: Matthew is Electrification of Heat Lead at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In this role, he is responsible for leading the government’s work to remove barriers to the deployment of 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028.

    Maxine Frerk, Sustainability First: Maxine worked at Ofgem for 15 years in a range of roles, most recently as Senior Partner Networks. She is now an independent consultant and thought leader in the energy space and has taken a particular interest in the challenges around heat decarbonisation.

    Nathan Gambling, NJV Ltd (BetaTeach, BetaTalk): Nathan Gambling is a heating engineer, lecturer and consultant who has taught plumbing and heating in colleges and a prison. As well as industry and teaching qualifications he has a degree in behavioural studies and is regarded as a leading expert around training and the learning process within the heating industry.

    About Energy Futures Lab

    Energy Futures Lab is one of seven Global Institutes at Imperial College London. The institute was established to address global energy challenges by identifying and leading new opportunities to serve industry, government and society at large through high quality research, evidence and advocacy for positive change. The institute aims to promote energy innovation and advance systemic solutions for a sustainable energy future by bringing together the science, engineering and policy expertise at Imperial and fostering collaboration with a wide variety of external partners.