From the 1st of January 2014, it is no longer possible to build a house in Flanders (northern region of Belgium) without having a system to generate renewable energy. One of the possibilities to achieve this is to install a heat pump.
In recent years the norms for new buildings have been made stricter. Up until now these norms were restricted to insulation standards but from this 2014 onwards, they have been elaborated to active energy production. And the maximum E-level* has been lowered to E60, whereas it was E75 last year. Though many buildings already comply with this norm.
By installing a heat pump to heat(& cool) and/or provide sanitary hot water, you can lower the E-level significantly. Since by means of a heat pump the E-level decreases by about 20 to 30 points. Thus heat pumps can contribute a lot to a low E-level. This is of course because heat pumps provide heating and hot water by taking a lot of free energy out of the natural environment. As such they can provide as 5 times as much energy (e.g. heat) as they consume.
In sum, it can be expected that the heat pump market in Belgium will benefit from this new regulation. As for new buildings heat pumps are a very good way of complying with the new regulation, while at the same time benefitting from comfort and a much lower energy bill.
*The E-level is a measure for the energy performance of a building and the fixed installations thereof in standard conditions. The lower the E-levelof a buidling, the more energy efficient it is.