Eco Quote Today

Here's Why You Should Invest In A Heat Pump

Outdoor air conditioning and heat pump unit
Author: Jack Lloyd
Updated: May 27, 2022
5 minutes read

It’s now possible to apply for a Government grant to replace your gas boiler with a heat pump. The grant, worth £5,000, is part of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which is set to last for three years. This was first announced in 2021 and is part of Government plans to cut carbon dioxide, which is a big contributor to climate change.

One of the primary aims of the scheme is to make eco-friendly heating systems more affordable. Homes and non-domestic buildings located in England and Wales are eligible for the support. The grants can be used for four systems as long as they are a maximum of 45kW in size. A typical UK home needs a 4kW system.

The four systems are:

  • Air source heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Water source heat pumps
  • Biomass boilers (for people in rural areas)

If you are interested in applying for the grant, your property will need an eligible Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This must have been issued during the past ten years. Your certificate can’t have any loft or cavity wall insulation installation recommendations. If your certificate does have any recommendations, you’ll need to have your home insulated first.

If you live in a social housing property or a new-build, you won’t be eligible for the scheme. If you live in private rented accommodation, you may be eligible for the scheme if your landlord agrees to participate.

What Has The Government Agreed To Pay For?

The Government is offering £5,000 to air source heat pump installation. You can expect this figure to cover between 50-75% of the overall costs. It is also providing £6,000 for ground source heat pumps and water source heat pumps. These are less popular than air-source heat pumps, and this figure will only cover 30-50% of the cost of the system itself. You will also need to cover the cost of installation.

The Government has pledged £450 million for the scheme and intends to cover up to 90,000 boilers. VAT has been reduced to zero on heat pumps for the next five years.

Where Can I Get My Voucher?

If you do want to take part in the scheme, you’ll need to get in touch with an MSC-certified installer. Once you have received a quote from the installer, they’ll then apply for a voucher from Ofgem. Ofgem are in charge of the scheme. If the voucher application is approved, the installer will receive a direct payment once the work is done. You will then need to cover the remaining balance yourself.

Is There A Time Limit on Installation?

The installation process needs to be completed within three months of approval if you’re installing an air source heat pump. You will have six months if you’re installing a ground source heat pump.

Will My Heat Source Pump Be Cheaper To Use?

Although heat pumps are around three times more efficient than a typical gas boiler, they can’t run without electricity. Electricity normally costs more than gas, although gas prices have increased substantially over recent months. This means it could be cheaper to run a heat pump as things stand. The Government says it may take steps to ensure heat pumps aren’t any more costly to run than gas boilers in future.

How Heat Pumps Work

Heat pumps are devices powered by electricity. They take heat from the air, ground or water around the properties they are installed in. Once air is sucked in by an air source heat pump, it is passed over tubes that contain refrigerant gas. This enables them to produce heat.

Will I Need Lots of Space To Install a Heat Pump?

You will need to install an air source heat pump outside so it can source air. It can either be attached to your property or close to it. You’ll need to make sure it’s at least one metre away from your neighbouring property so its noise doesn’t cause annoyance. The noise emitted from an air source heat pump is similar to that of a refrigerator.

You will also need to create enough space inside your home for a hot water cylinder and a heat pump unit. The units are around the same size as gas boilers. The size of your cylinder will be determined by the size of your home itself.

If you’re installing a ground source heat pump, you’ll need more external space. You’ll need to create a 100m borehole or a horizontal system that’s dug into the ground.

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