How to apply for the £5,000 government grant that encourages households to swap gas boilers for heat pumps. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the new scheme
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UK households will be able to apply to for a £5,000 grant to replace gas boilers – and your home could be eligible.
Around 90,000 homes should be available for the grant, but this has been criticised by some.
European programme director for the Regulatory Assistance Project Jan Rosenow said: “Providing grants for installing heat pumps is essential as they are more expensive than gas boilers.
“But the level of funding is too low. Under the plans, only 30,000 homes would be able to benefit from the government grant, just enough to support current installation levels.
“Given that the target is to install 600,000 heat pumps per year, this is clearly not enough.”
But how can you be one of the lucky few to get your hands on a heat pump?
What is a heat pump and how do I get a grant?
Heat pumps are powered by electricity and extract heat from water or the ground, but primarily the air.
Like a fridge in reverse, they extract energy to collect heat to pump into a home.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “As the technology improves and costs plummet over the next decade, we expect low-carbon heating systems will become the obvious, affordable choice for consumers.”
The £5,000 grants will be available from next April to households in England and Wales.
Further details about how to apply will be released soon.
Heat pumps generally cost around £10,000 to install, but some estimates say that they can cost between £6,000 and £18,000.
Your heat pump, if its one that draws heat from the air, requires space on the outside of your home and it must be at least one metre from your neighbours property.
Should I change my boiler?
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Gas prices are rising and boilers are currently far more expensive than people are used to.
They are not energy efficient, either. 21% of carbon emissions in the UK are caused by heating buildings.
It is predicted that when gas boilers are phases out, heat pumps will become the most common heating installation in new build homes.
They are not necessarily cheaper to run than a gas boiler, but the government say that they will take steps to make sure that they are, by reducing charges on electricity bills.
The UK is committed to reducing its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and there is a ban on gas boilers as a result — as technology improves, heat pumps are expected to become far more affordable.
EDF energy explained why: “As gas and oil are fossil fuels, they both release carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) – a ‘greenhouse gas’ that contributes to climate change.
But heat pumps generally need homes that are already well insulated as they run at temperatures lower than a gas boiler.
Old radiators may also need to be swapped out.