01 September 1998

The role of heat pumps in a deregulated energy market

This analysis provides insight into the current worldwide status of the deregulation process, the heat pump market and the relation between the two. It surveys, compares and analyses ongoing and completed restructuring and deregulation processes, and identifies the likely role of heat pumping technologies in the new situation. Topics covered include: the upcoming important changes in the energy market, the economic viability of heat pumps under changing market conditions, and the response of utilities to the need for a new market strategy.

Deregulation of the energy market has a major impact on competition in the energy sector. Consequently, markets for end-use technologies, including heat pumps will be affected. In a growing number of countries, utility restructuring is also causing profound shifts in the market for servicing and replacing heating and cooling systems.

An economic analysis of residential and commercial heat pump systems is given in the report for the following countries: Austria, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA. The study reveals that the heat pump market is affected by deregulation in two ways: by changing energy prices and by changing market strategies of utilities. The likely role of utilities in the heat pump market differs from country to country, depending on their previous experience with heat pumps, competition in the heating market, etc. It remains important that utilities include heat pump technology in their market strategies to ensure an increased use of heat pumps.

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