The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is part of a £450million fund being provided by the Government to encourage households to switch to heat pumps. But how much does a heat pump cost and will it save you cash?
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Homeowners in England and Wales can now apply for a one-off £5,000 grant to replace their gas boiler after a new scheme opened today.
It comes as part of plans to make more homes green friendly, with heat pumps being seen as the most favourable option to replace gas boilers.
They work essentially like a fridge in reverse, with these devices extracting warmth from the air or the ground, or from water.
But of course, one of the main stumbling blocks for many homeowners is that heat pumps aren’t cheap to install.
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The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a heat pump can cost £6,000 to £8,000, while MoneySavingExpert puts the figure at a higher sum of up to £12,000.
This means you’d need to stump up potentially another £1,000 to £7,000 on top of the grant for the installation.
How to apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme
Through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, you will be able to apply for £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump or biomass boiler.
Houses that need heat pumps where heat is sourced from the ground will receive £6,000.
In total, the scheme is expected to fund 90,000 installations and will run until the end of March 2025.
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Government ministers have set a target of phasing out the installation of traditional gas boilers from 2035, as part of a wider strategy to become net zero by 2050.
To apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, you must live in England or Wales and own your property.
The property will need to have an installation capacity up to 45kWth, and a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation.
You may still be able to apply if you have an insulation exemption.
You don’t apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant yourself – instead, you need to find an MSC-certified installer to claim the grant on your behalf.
Homeowners can find the cheapest and nearest tradesman on the MSC website – make sure you compare prices to get the best quote.
Once you agree a price, the installer will then apply for the grant. You’ll then be contacted by Ofgem to confirm that the work is being done on your behalf.
You can start getting quotes from today, as to be eligible for the scheme, the commissioning date of the heating system must be on or after April 1.
Your installer will have to then register with Ofgem on April 11 and the scheme will open to applications and payments from May 23.
Will a heat pump save you money on energy bills?
Yes, a heat pump is likely to be cheaper to run than a traditional gas boiler, according to experts at the Energy Saving Trust.
“Heat pumps are around three to four times more efficient than boilers, because they give out a lot more heat than the electricity they use to run,” they explained.
“Although electricity is a lot more expensive than gas or oil at the moment, the higher efficiency means that the running costs often work our similar.
“And if you’re replacing an old and inefficient system, your bills could go down dramatically.
“We estimate that replacing an old (G-rated) gas boiler with an air source heat pump, for example, could save you up to £375 a year on your heating bills (based on an average sized, four-bedroom detached house in Great Britain).”