Many may be reluctant to get a heat pump due to the high costs associated with installation. However, the Government is encouraging the use of heat pump grants, which are making it more affordable to upgrade to a new heating system if people live in the UK.
Caramel Quin, energy expert at Ideal Home explains the different options available for Britons when considering a heat pump.
He explained that in England and Wales, people can get a £5,000 grant towards the cost of an air source heat pump and £6,000 towards a ground source heat pump through the Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).
The BUS grants are available until the end of March 2025 and the scheme is funded to the tune of £450million which means there are grants for around 90,000 homes.
Mr Quin continued: “The grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, so move quickly if you want to secure one.
“To get a grant you have to own the property and it needs an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with no outstanding recommendations for insulation.
“Your new heat pump must be replacing a fossil fuel heating system (eg a gas boiler) and it must heat both the house and your water.
“Hybrid system, combining a heat pump with a gas boiler, won’t be eligible for funding.”
Britons can’t apply directly for the grant. Instead, they need to find an MCS-certified installer (certified through the Microgeneration Certification Scheme) who will advise them on whether a heat pump will work for them and if they’re eligible for a grant.
The loans are interest-free and you will have to repay them over five, 10 or 12 years depending on the size of the loan.
Mr Quin shared that in Northern Ireland there are 19 domestic schemes to help householders install new energy-efficient heating systems and insulation all run by the Energy Saving Trust.
There are currently no grant or loan schemes for replacing boilers with heat pumps although there is some funding available for low-income homeowners who have no central heating at all.
Alternative energy-efficient options to help families heat their home are being pushed with heat pumps being one of the many in consideration.
Through the Government’s BUS, households are able to apply for a grant to compensate for the expense of installing a heat pump or biomass boiler.
Phil Hurley, chair of the heat pump association said: “The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a great opportunity for householders to make their home more energy efficient and we encourage anyone thinking about switching out their oil or gas boiler to make use of the grants.
“The upfront funding available means that heat pumps have never been more accessible, making it easier than ever for households to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.”
It explains on the Government website that moving to a heat pump means people can avoid the volatile prices associated with gas and oil.
If individuals are using oil, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or electric heating, they could see a reduction to their energy bill if they move to a heat pump.
As the cost of living crisis continues, and bills are on the rise, it may be now more important than ever to see where people can make longer term savings.
From October 2022, energy bills have risen by 27 percent for households with average usage, even with the Government’s £2,500 price guarantee in place.