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A significant proportion of current heat pump systems on the market may not be sufficient to meet the new requirements of the Future Homes Standard, which is currently under consultation.

This is due to the heat pump performance assumed in the notional specification for energy assessments, as summarised in the table below:

For individual heating systems, the notional heat pump specification is equivalent to an ErP of A++. In the current SAP database of over 5,000 heat pump products, only 98 have an ErP of A++ or higher. If a heat pump with a specification below this is used, the shortfall will have to be made up from other elements in the energy specification, such as the building fabric or an increase in renewable energy technology.

For high rise developments, Exhaust Air Heat Pump systems are increasingly becoming popular due to not requiring external units for each dwelling. However, of the limited number of products available, most do not meet an ErP of A++. One of the market leaders products’ meet this threshold for heating, but not for hot water.

With heat networks, the notional dwelling sets a SCOP (efficiency) of 3.0 and also sets the target for heat losses. We know from experience that this performance is very hard to achieve.

The standard set for losses in the notional dwelling is beyond current typical practice and would require close attention to design to minimise losses as far as possible on the network, and optimise the SCOP.

Using a heat pump as the heating system in the notional dwelling also means that compliance will not be possible with gas boilers.

It can be assumed that choosing high efficiency heat pumps is going to be essential in achieving Part L compliance from 2025 onwards.