- Grants for the boiler upgrade program have increased by up to £7,500
- The increase means more homeowners will be able to have heat pumps installed for free
Homeowners who replace their gas or oil boilers with heat pumps can now receive grants of up to £7,500 as the Government increases funding by 50 per cent.
Heat pumps collect heat from either the air or the ground and can replace traditional methods of heating homes using fossil fuels, reducing people’s costs.
However, the units cost between £8,000 and £30,000 to purchase and install, with the wide price range depending on what type you buy and what type of home you have.
To encourage homeowners to make the switch, the government previously offered grants of up to £5,000 for air source heat pumps and £6,000 for ground source heat pumps, as well as £5,000 to install a biomass boiler.
Pumped up: The government confirmed heat pump grants would rise to up to £7,500
But the government has now increased the amount of these grants to £7,500 for air and ground source heat pumps.
Energy Security Minister Claire Coutinho said: “No one should have to choose between cutting costs and reducing emissions – our pragmatic approach means we can continue to achieve our ambitious net zero targets without putting a strain on the pockets of hard-working families.”
“This will help thousands of people across the country reduce their energy consumption and keep their homes warm.”
Customers do not need to apply for the grants and can check whether their home is eligible on the government website.
To receive the grant, homeowners must arrange a quote for the work with a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified installer, who will then complete all the paperwork.
Energy regulator Ofgem will then contact the customer to confirm that they wish to proceed.
Last month the government discussed increasing grants for the boiler upgrade program.
Cheaper bills: Heat pumps replace traditional methods of heating homes using fossil fuels
However, heat pumps cost between £8,000 and £30,000 to purchase and install, meaning homeowners are still facing hefty bills for installing the devices.
The wide price range reflects what type of heat pump you are buying (with geothermal heat pumps being more expensive) and what type of home you have.
Energy companies are competing to introduce cheaper heat pumps, with the two cheapest coming from British Gas and Octopus Energy.
What are the advantages of heat pumps?
Experts say they can reduce your energy costs by up to 25 percent because the devices require less electricity to operate, which also makes them more environmentally friendly than boilers.
They can also last longer than boilers – up to 20 years.
What are the disadvantages of heat pumps?
The optimal use of a heat pump can involve additional costs. Poorly insulated buildings may not benefit optimally from a heat pump as the units operate at lower temperatures than boilers.
This means homeowners installing a heat pump should first consider appropriate wall and attic insulation and double glazing.
You may also need larger radiators to get the most heat out of a heat pump.
This is because the units do not heat water to as high a temperature as boilers, so larger surface area radiators may be required to maximize heat.
Your property must also be suitable for installing a heat pump.
A geothermal heat pump also requires outdoor space to lay the pipes required to generate heat.
Both geothermal heat pumps and air source heat pumps require the installation of a hot water tank, which may not be suitable for smaller homes.