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Created on October 2, 2023

Updated on February 19, 2024

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Which Countries Are Winning the European Heat Pump Race?

Heat pumps are transforming residential heating globally, and with the UK government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme slashing £7,500 off the cost of heat pumps, their popularity is expected to soar in the country.

Recognizing these efficient and environmentally friendly devices as the future of domestic heating systems, the UK government has set a goal of achieving 600,000 annual installations by 2028. Although currently falling short of this target, as detailed below, the commitment to heat pumps is evident.

Governments across Europe have long championed heat pumps, contributing to emissions reduction and striving to meet the continent-wide objective of having 40% of all residential buildings heated by electricity by 2030. Our calculations indicate that there are now 19.3 million heat pumps installed in Europe, with specific nations leading the charge.

To join the heat pump revolution, comparing prices has never been simpler. Fill out our form, and our expert installers will promptly provide you with free quotes.

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1. Norway

With a ratio of 29,745 heat pumps per 100,000 people, equating to one heat pump for every 3.4 individuals, Norway has effortlessly embraced this technology. The Norwegian government’s longstanding subsidies, providing a minimum of £1,100 (with additional incentives for larger properties), have effectively motivated homeowners to transition away from fossil fuels.

The success of the initiative is evident as Norway achieved the complete elimination of oil heating in 2020, underscoring the triumph of the campaign to promote heat pump installations.

Further enhancing the environmental impact, Norway’s 1.61 million heat pumps operate on nearly 100% renewable electricity, primarily generated by hydropower plants. This remarkable accomplishment positions the country’s heat pump infrastructure as truly green.

2. Finland

With a prevalence of 24,159 heat pumps per 100,000 people, the enthusiasm for heat pumps in Scandinavia is robust, and Finland is no exception.

In 2020, Finland surpassed the milestone of installing more than 100,000 heat pumps, setting the stage for continued growth. The momentum persisted, with Finland setting a new record in 2022 by installing 196,000 heat pumps, nearly doubling the achievements of 2020 and securing the second position across Europe, surpassing Sweden.

This surge in heat pump installations has contributed significantly to Finland’s environmental efforts, saving an impressive two million tonnes of greenhouse gases. This accomplishment is noteworthy, particularly when considering the nation’s total emissions amount to 48 million tonnes.

The increasing preference for heat pumps is evident, with a vast majority of small, new-build households opting for these systems. This trend augurs well for the future of heat pumps in Finland.

3. Sweden


With an incidence of 22,727 heat pumps per 100,000 people, heat pumps have become the standard choice for new residences in Sweden.

This preference is a key factor in Sweden consistently achieving 100,000 heat pump installations annually for the past decade, culminating in surpassing the 200,000 milestone in 2022.

The widespread adoption of heat pumps has significantly marginalized fossil fuels in Sweden. In the realm of domestic heating, these environmentally detrimental sources have consistently accounted for less than 10% of the country’s energy mix.

Renewable sources, such as hydropower, wind power, and biofuels, contribute to over half of Sweden’s electricity supply, directly fueling the operation of the nation’s 2.37 million heat pumps.

4. Estonia

While the figure of 230,000 heat pumps might not seem substantial on a global scale, for Estonia, it signifies a remarkable achievement.

The country has demonstrated commendable consistency in its growth, installing approximately 16,000 to 17,000 heat pumps annually over the past nine years.

In the context of this small Baltic nation with a population of 1.3 million, the acquisition of 17,000 units in 2022 represented an impressive 8% increase in its overall stock of heat pumps.

The favorable scenario is further enhanced by the fact that consumers pay an average of just 20.6p per kWh for electricity.

5. Denmark


With an occurrence of 10,294 heat pumps per 100,000 people, Denmark’s fervor for heat pumps has been significantly fueled by government initiatives.

Commencing in 2017, Denmark introduced incentives that encourage homeowners to replace their oil boilers with heavily discounted heat pumps. In a noteworthy expansion of this initiative in 2020, the government extended the offer to households equipped with a gas boiler.

Furthermore, corporate engagement has been stimulated, in part due to a 2021 grant covering 15% of the installation cost for businesses, capped at five million krone (£570,000).

Thomas Nowak, the secretary-general of the European Heat Pump Association, attributed the popularity of heat pumps in northern European nations, including Denmark, to a balanced competitive environment. He highlighted the absence of gas sources in Nordic countries and policymakers’ limited options to artificially maintain low gas prices. This circumstance places heat pumps in direct comparison with electric heating, biomass, and district heating. Nowak also noted a higher acceptance level in Nordic countries for using electricity as an energy carrier for heating, a sentiment that was not widely accepted in Germany for an extended period.

6. France


With a frequency of 5,815 heat pumps per 100,000 people, France stands unparalleled in Europe with a total of 3.9 million heat pumps, and its momentum in this domain shows no signs of slowing down.

Over the past four years, France has remarkably elevated its heat pump total by 71%, marking the highest increase among European countries with over a million units, second only to Spain.

This persistent upward trend is attributed, in part, to eco-friendly building regulations introduced in 2012, wherein 40% of new constructions now opt for heat pumps.

The heat pump sector in France sustains 20,000 jobs and contributes to the annual reduction of more than 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.

7. Italy


With an occurrence of 5,432 heat pumps per 100,000 people, Italy has witnessed the surging popularity of heat pumps for over a decade, with the year 2022 marking a significant milestone.

A record-breaking 502,000 installations in 2022 propelled Italy into our top seven countries, boasting a total of 3.2 million installed heat pumps, with expectations of this number continuing to soar.

Italy’s sustained growth in this sector has been reinforced by the government’s longstanding support, featuring special tariffs for heat pump users and an exceptionally generous scheme covering 110% of the home’s heat pump installation cost. Remarkably, the government not only covers the entire expense of the heat pump but also offers a 10% reduction in taxes for the subsequent five years.

Notably, with a growth rate of 18.6% in 2022, Italy leads the list with the highest percentage increase among the featured countries.

How many heat pumps has the UK installed?

The UK has successfully installed 380,000 heat pumps, securing the 13th position among the 21 European countries under consideration.

However, the situation becomes more nuanced when considering the UK’s population, ranking as the third-largest in Europe after Germany and France. In terms of heat pumps per person, the UK lags significantly, occupying the 20th position out of 21 nations, surpassing only Hungary with a mere 564 heat pumps per 100,000 people.

Comparatively, the European average stands at 4,016 heat pumps per 100,000 people, indicating that the UK would require seven times more units to reach this benchmark, totaling 2.7 million heat pumps.

Despite the seemingly substantial task, this goal is realistic. France, sharing a similar population and economic standing as the UK, has successfully installed 3.9 million heat pumps. Notably, Norway, with a population of just 5.4 million, boasts an impressive 1.6 million heat pumps.

Regrettably, the UK falls behind not only larger European counterparts but also smaller nations like Slovakia, Lithuania, and Estonia, lacking enthusiasm mainly due to the government’s failure to adequately publicize the benefits and grants associated with heat pumps.

Will the UK install more heat pumps?

Certainly! Indeed, the United Kingdom has been consistently increasing the installation of heat pumps annually since 2017, reaching a noteworthy milestone with a record 59,900 units in 2022. This upward trajectory is anticipated to continue at a rapid pace.

To further propel the adoption of heat pumps, the government has set a target of achieving 600,000 installations per year by 2028. The implementation of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, scheduled until March 2028, plays a pivotal role in realizing this goal. Under this government initiative, homeowners can benefit from a £7,500 reduction in the cost of air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

However, as the scheme has limited funding, grants are available for only 30,000 homeowners annually. Despite this limitation, the initiative is expected to contribute significantly to the overall increase in heat pump installations.

For those eager to take advantage of this opportunity, it is advisable to act promptly, as the scheme operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Utilizing our customized form is a straightforward way to initiate the process. By providing brief details about your property, we can connect you with our network of heat pump suppliers, who will furnish you with free quotes for comparison.

Get FREE Heat Pump Quotes
Find out how much a heat pump would cost you

Step 1 of 7

Complete A Short Form – Receive Free Quotes – Compare & Save

Get FREE Heat Pump Quotes
Find out how much a heat pump would cost you

Step 1 of 7

Complete A Short Form – Receive Free Quotes – Compare & Save

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