Heat pumps could be made more accessible to homeowners and small businesses under measures proposed by the government last week.
Varied grants, which would depend on customers’ property type or existing fuel source, could be made available to make heat pumps cheaper and easier to install.
By enabling more households to access low-cost, low-carbon heating, the government hope it will allow a shift away from ‘costly foreign fossil fuels and onto cleaner, cheaper homegrown energy’
Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said:
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.
“While a heat pump can be installed for a similar price to installing a gas boiler, the support we’ve put in place means it is an option for more and more households.
“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 new proposals will also aid more households in installing biomass boilers which also work as an oven, which the government say will help ‘more households access the latest in cutting-edge, green technology.’
The grants will improve access to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme
In an effort to decarbonise the nations heating, more than £81 million in vouchers have already been issued to customers under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
The scheme, which offers grants of up to £6,000 for heat pumps, previously came under criticism from the Energy and Utilities Alliance due to poorer households missing out while the rich enjoyed tax breaks and discounts.
Having now acknowledged that the current grant system is too simple, the government are consulting on making necessary changes.
The consultation paper explained: ‘There is currently no difference in the grant value available to different property types, or property owners.
‘We recognise that even with the grant, the upfront capital costs of low carbon heat remain a barrier to uptake for certain properties and property owners.
It is the Government’s priority to ensure that no property is left behind in the transition to low carbon heat, ensuring that the market is mature enough to deliver the upcoming regulatory uplifts for both new and existing buildings.
The government has also made qualifying for a grant more accessible by removing the requirement of loft or cavity wall insulation.
Now, heat pump installers, manufactures, suppliers, and the wider industry are invited to share their views on these proposed changes to the scheme, with the consultation closing on 12 October 2023.