Sustainable heat pump pilot


E.On has secured £3.9 million to install heat pumps around Newcastle.

As one of the winning schemes forming part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS’s) ‘Electrification of Heat’ project, E.On will start a £3.9M ‘smart, personalised and sustainable’ heat pump pilot project.

Together with Newcastle City Council, the company will install 250 heat pumps in suitable homes across Newcastle-upon-Tyne to tackle the barrier to their adoption.

Solving the problem

“The challenge for us all is to move away from fossil fuels towards something cleaner, more efficient and more cost-effective,” said Michael Lewis, CEO of E.On UK.

“Working with BEIS and Newcastle City Council, we’ll demonstrate that heat pumps are one of the smart, personalised and sustainable solutions that will help us in meeting that challenge.”

The heat pumps will be installed alongside a range of innovative secondary technologies, such as thermal stores, said E.On. The project will help demonstrate what is needed for a more wide-scale rollout of heat pumps.

If we decarbonise the UK’s heating system, we can improve lives, save money in the process, and help combat the climate crisis.

Michael Lewis, CEO of E.ON UK

Heating homes is one of the UK’s largest contributors to climate change now, and one of the most pressing challenges the country faces in decarbonising, Lewis added. He pointed to the pressing need to tackle climate change as part of a wider recovery process from COVID-19.

Key outcomes

“The timing of this project couldn’t be better,” he said. “The UK needs a green economic recovery and upgrading the homes we’re all now spending far more time in ticks all the right boxes: creating good local jobs and improving health and wellbeing, as well as reducing emissions.”

“We already supply all our customers’ homes with electricity backed by 100% renewable sources, and if we decarbonise the UK’s heating system we can improve the lives and lifestyles of countless people, saving them money in the process and helping to combat the climate crisis.”

The heat pumps will be free to all who participate, and recipient households will be chosen in July 2020 using E.On’s satellite imaging technology and Newcastle City Council’s own data.

Councillor Clare Penny-Evans, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for climate change and communities, said: “This project is an exciting opportunity for Newcastle, as one of only three locations chosen by BEIS nationally to explore the benefits of heat pump technology, and I hope as many households as possible will put themselves forward to potentially take part.

“Yet for us this is not just about the 250 homes that will benefit now, but what we hope it will teach us, so that we might in the future be able to apply this technology right across our communities and support local jobs and businesses in the green economy.”

The project will run until March 2022, and recipients will benefit from free aftercare for their heat pumps.

E.On’s project was one of three winning bids selected to be part of BEIS’s £14.6 million Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project, that will collectively see heat pumps installed in 750 homes around Britain.

Warmworks won £4.62 million for its pilot project, which will see heat pumps installed in households across South East Scotland. OVO Energy was the final winner, receiving a £4.2 million grant from the government.