Eco Quote Today

More Help Needed for Heat Pumps

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Oct 25, 2023
4 minutes read

There’s plenty of misinformation out there about the validity of heat pumps, which is a shame when the general public aren’t necessarily as clued up about these amazing pieces of technology as they could be. A recent study highlighted how heat pumps are actually twice as efficient as fossil fuel boilers in the winter, which should go some way to putting people’s minds at ease.

Calls on Government for More Funding

Thanks to Rishi Sunak’s rolling back of environmental policies, there have been more calls for help in reaching net zero goals. The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has called on the government to increase the subsidies available for heat pumps to expand wider adoption at a faster rate. The independent government advisors have even gone so far as to question the carbon commitments of the Prime Minister.

Urban transport is also in dire need of funding, but the government has only said that it will deliver the projects “that matter most”. This comes after the unilateral decision to scrap HS2, without scrutiny in the House of Commons, and to divide the rest of the northern funds into local transport links (some of which already exist). Commenting on net zero, the government also said that a pragmatic approach is needed.

The Net Zero Target

The 2050 net zero target is widely regarded as a fundamentally necessary stepping stone to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C by 2100. By exceeding this, countries are not only in violation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, but allowing the world to progress into unlivable and uninhabitable conditions.

Now, the NIC is suggesting that 8 million households across the UK will need to have heat pumps installed by 2035 if this target is to be met. The main issue highlighted is that 9 in 10 households in England alone operate their heating system using a gas boiler. Low carbon alternatives need to be installed if any effective reduction in emissions is going to be achieved. Both heat pumps and heating networks are the solution to this issue, which other countries are deploying rapidly and consistently.

Response to Gas Boiler Ban Announcement

Sir John Armitt is the Chairman of the NIC and he was staggered by Rishi Sunak’s announcement. With the 2035 target on gas boilers only 12 years away, he believes it’s hard to imagine this being met. Around 60,000 heat pumps are being installed every year at the very most, which is 10% of the government’s target of 600,000 to be installed annually by 2028.

Despite the government then increasing the amounts available via grants for households to install a heat pump, the NIC has specified that this needs to be increased even more. Although the Boiler Upgrade Scheme has been upgraded to £7,500 for either an air or ground source heat pump, the £150 million funding has stayed the same. This just means that fewer houses will be able to make use of the grant.

How Much Heat Pump Help is Needed?

In response to the paltry £150 million available through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, the NIC believes this amount should shoot up to £6 billion a year. The reasoning behind this is that the households with the least amount of money should then be able to have the cost of a heat pump installation fully funded.

Additionally, the NIC believes all other properties should be able to have £7,000 towards an electrified heating system (either heat pump or heat network). Anything above this cost should then be subject to 0% financing options to help ensure every household is able to make the switch without impacting their finances.

In response, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said that up to £30 million was being spent on heat pump investment to help consumers make the switch. In essence, none of the suggestions will be implemented or taken on board.

How Can You Get a Heat Pump?

Without the government completely covering the cost of heat pumps for the least well-off households, you are only able to make use of what’s currently on offer. Since Monday 23rd October, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme now offers £7,500 off the installation of an air or ground source heat pump to help households make the switch.

Find out how much you’d pay for a heat pump by clicking on the button below and getting a tailored quote for your household. The grant will be automatically taken off the cost when it comes to be installed.