What's behind this worrying drop in heat pump sales in Europe?

In Q3 2022, almost 565,000 PACs were sold in Europe, giving us a significant year-on-year decrease of almost 15%. Several factors could explain this decline, including conflicting political messages, falling gas prices and the housing slowdown.

Conflicting political messages and falling gas prices

According to EHPA (European Heat Pump Manufacturers' Association), the decline in heat pump sales is due in particular to inconsistent signals from political leaders, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. A sharp drop in natural gas prices also contributed to the decline in heat pump sales, making this equipment less attractive financially.

Incentives vary from country to country

Government measures to encourage consumers to opt for this type of equipment vary from country to country. In France, for example, despite subsidies under the MaPrimeRénov' scheme, some heat pumps remain excluded from the program, limiting their appeal to consumers. What's more, some countries offer insufficient or non-existent tax or financial incentives, considerably slowing market development.

Housing market slowdown and inflation

With new housing construction on the decline, demand for heat pumps could be impacted. Jean-Paul Ouin, representing Uniclima, also points to the significant influence of inflation and the recent rise in bank interest rates, which make investing in a heat pump less profitable for consumers.

For his part, Lionel Palandre, Production Manager at Intuis, points to the bad press surrounding some unscrupulous installers, who damage the sector's reputation and discourage some potential buyers.

  • Real estate production down : The decline in new construction is limiting demand for heat pumps.
  • Inflation : Widespread price rises are impacting household purchasing power and discouraging costly investments like heat pumps.
  • Bank interest rates : Rising interest rates make borrowing more expensive and may deter consumers from investing in a heat pump.
  • Bad reputation: Cases of poorly executed installations or scams have a repulsive effect on potential customers.

Future prospects for heat pumps

Despite the current downturn in sales, it's essential not to lose sight of the fact that heat pumps remain a sustainable, environmentally-friendly energy solution. In the long term, the market should recover thanks to a number of factors:

  • Climate targets : Faced with national and international commitments to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the development of heat pumps is essential.
  • Evolving technologies : Technical and technological innovations will make heat pumps more efficient and more attractive to consumers.
  • Installer training : Better training and supervision of industry professionals will help improve the quality of installations and restore consumer confidence.

In short, the recent decline in heat pump sales in Europe can be seen as a sign of the future. alarm signal in the short term, prompting the sector to mobilize to solve the problems identified. However, this does not call into question their long-term potential as an alternative, environmentally-friendly solution to today's climate challenges.

Julien G.

Juliena mechanical engineering graduate and specialist in climate engineering since 2009, has become a writer specializing in renewable energies, with expertise in heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels for individual housing.
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