Factcheck: 18 misleading myths about heat pumps

(CarbonBrief, 21 Mar 2024) Heat pumps are an alternative to gas boilers and wood stoves for indoor heating.

They now feature in most proposals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by mid-century in order to meet the globally agreed aim of avoiding dangerous climate change.

For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says with high confidence that net-zero energy systems will include the electrification of heating “rely[ing] substantially on heat pumps” – with a possible exception only for extreme climates.

Heat pumps significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from building heat and are the “central technology in the global transition to secure and sustainable heating”, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Heat pumps are also a mature technology and are very popular in countries such as Norway, Sweden and Finland, where they are the dominant heating technology. For the first time in 2022, heat pumps outsold gas boilers in the US – and they continued to do so in 2023.

Yet, in major economies such as the UK and Germany, heat pumps are the subject of hostile and misleading reporting across many mainstream media outlets.

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CarbonBrief, 21 Mar 2024: Factcheck: 18 misleading myths about heat pumps