Catapult to manage £16.5m Electrification of Heat Demonstration

Published: 22 November 2019

Energy Systems Catapult has been appointed as Management Contractor for the £16.5 million Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project on behalf of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The project will install heat pumps in 750 homes across Great Britain to better understand and overcome barriers to the large-scale roll-out of low carbon heating.

Following a competitive tender, the Catapult was chosen to manage and coordinate the Delivery Contractors the project in partnership with Delta-EE and Oxford Computer Consultants.

Funded as part of the BEIS Energy Innovation Programme, the Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project is expected to recruit enough participants to install and monitor 750 heat pumps across representative range of housing archetypes and social groups, with the majority on the gas grid, in order to understand the technical and practical feasibility of a large-scale rollout of heat pumps.

The Challenge

Heating accounts for 37% of total UK carbon emissions, with heating for buildings responsible for over half of that figure – at around 20%.

To achieve our 2050 Net Zero emissions targets, analysis by the Committee on Climate Change suggests we need to decarbonise all heat in buildings by 2050.

With 87% of households on the gas grid – replacing fossil-fuelled gas boilers with heat pumps can make a very substantial contribution in achieving this targets – alongside district heating and converting the natural gas grid to deliver hydrogen.

But the heat pump market in Great Britain is small and consumers – particularly those living on the gas grid – have been slow to switch to the technology. Currently only around 20,000 homes convert to low carbon heating each year. That figure needs to reach 1 million annually during the 2020s.

Catapult role

Energy Systems Catapult previously delivered the £20 million Smart Systems and Heat programme, the UK’s largest smart, consumer-focused project aimed at overcoming the barriers to the decarbonisation of residential heat

As Management Contractor, the Catapult will provide overall project management and manage, monitor and coordinate three Delivery Contractors (yet to be appointed) on behalf of BEIS.

This will include developing a shared approach with the Delivery Contractors on participant recruitment, while leading the design of the home suitability surveys, installation and monitoring processes, as well as collating, managing and analysing data, and disseminating the project findings.

The project will be managed by the Catapult’s Major Programmes team and will run until March 2022.