About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

How to increase the demand for heat pumps

Nesta teamed up with the Behavioural Insights Team to research how different incentives affected people’s willingness to choose a heat pump over a gas boiler. In an online experiment, we asked a sample of 8,016 homeowners to choose between buying a heat pump and a new gas boiler, in a scenario where their current boiler needed replacing.

We tested how different incentives - including a £5k subsidy, a low-cost loan and lower running costs - affected their choices.

We found that all three of these incentives increase people’s willingness to choose a heat pump, and some of them work especially well when combined together. This report looks at the figures in more detail and assesses the policy implications.

Read about phase 1 of this research project.

Read our report on how to reduce the cost of heat pumps.

This report is part of our policy library for decarbonising home heating

Explore the library to learn more


Kristina Londakova

Kristina is a senior advisor working on energy and sustainability at The Behavioural Insights Team. She also supports BIT’s CEO on pressing issues across different policy areas, includ…

Toby Park

Toby leads the energy, environment and sustainability work at The Behavioural Insights Team, covering topics as diverse as domestic energy use, sustainable transport and wider pro-envi…

Edwin Chan

Edwin is a research advisor in the energy and sustainability team of The Behavioural Insights Team. He works on trial evaluations across a variety of policy areas such as sustainable e…

Jordan Whitwell-Mak