British Gas New Energy has acquired the assets of Cool Planet Technologies, a heat pump installation company, for £0.5m in cash.

Cool Planet designs, sells and installs ground and air source heat pumps both directly for customers and also as a sub contractor for larger projects in the commercial and public sector.

Heat pumps are expected to be a key part of the UK’s microgeneration sector by 2020, British Gas said.

Installations are forecast to increase to 20,000 per year by 2012, following the introduction of the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

British Gas New Energy managing director Jon Kimber said that this acquisition allows the company to develop a broad range of low carbon technologies and advice that it can offer its customers, helping them to use less and use cleaner energy.

As part of the acquisition, British Gas has entered into a technical support agreement with low carbon and renewables consultant, Rolton Group, which will provide design support on the application of technologies in existing buildings.