Heat Pump

Government to revamp heat pump grants in bid to decarbonise UK heating

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The government has proposed improving access to the grants available to households looking to install a heat pump in an effort to ramp up the UK’s shift towards carbon neutral heating.

The new measures, laid out by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, would see grants of up to £6,000 made available depending on the customer’s property type or existing fuel source.

A heat pump takes heat at a low temperature from the air or ground and increases it to a higher temperature, before transferring the heat into homes for heating and hot water. The technology is significantly more efficient than traditional boilers and, unlike gas boilers, can be run on clean electricity rather than fossil fuels.

A recent analysis found that domestic gas use in the UK would have been significantly lower last winter if heat pump installations had kept pace with the rest of Europe.

In January, the government’s net zero review concluded that no new homes should be built with a gas boiler from 2025. It also proposed a 10-year plan to ensure heat pumps become more widespread throughout the UK. However, Michael Gove recently suggested that the government may relax the 2025 date due to cost-of-living pressures.

The new proposals suggest taking a simplified approach to households looking to qualify for a heat pump grant – including removing the need to install loft or cavity wall insulation first.

The changes are designed to help more homes and businesses to move away from costly fossil fuels and onto cheaper homegrown energy. The proposals also provide an additional option to help consumers to install new biomass boilers that can simultaneously work as an oven.

“Heat pumps are a vital tool in cutting the carbon emissions from people heating their homes, while also helping to drive down costs and boosting our energy security,” said Lord Callanan, energy efficiency minister.

“Today’s changes go even further and will mean even more people could benefit from making the switch, offering them the option for a low-emission, low-cost form of heating their homes.”

The government’s £450m Boiler Upgrade Scheme was recently extended until 2028 and offers grants of £5,000 towards the installation of an air source heat pump, £6,000 off a ground source heat pump and £5,000 off a biomass boiler. Consumers can also receive a zero VAT rate on installations.

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