Energy bills: ‘Heat pumps have never been more accessible’ but experts say otherwise

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What is the £5000 boiler heat pump payment?

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With soaring energy prices, the Government’s new initiative is aimed to help people mitigate the financial impact. However, heating expert Myles Robinson shared that the £6,000 may not be enough and shed light on other downsides of heat pumps.

The energy price cap increase has seen household bills increasing by hundreds.

While the revised cost of living support could provide help for this in October, others may find themselves in need of more urgent help.

As a result, the Government created a £450million scheme which will offer grants for air source and heat pumps to be installed in homes across the UK.

The initiative is set to run for three years and will offer property owners between £5,000 or £6,000 off the cost and installation of various heating alternatives.

£5,000 will be taken off of the cost and installation of air source heat pumps and biomass boilers.

£6,000 will be taken off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump.

An estimated 90,000 households could benefit from this support and could reduce their energy bills as a result.

Applications opened on May 23, 2022 and people are encouraged to register their interest with heat pump installers via Ofgem.

Phil Hurley, Chair of the Heat Pump Association said: “The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a great opportunity for householders to make their home more energy efficient and we encourage anyone thinking about switching out their oil or gas boiler to make use of the grants.

“The upfront funding available means that heat pumps have never been more accessible, making it easier than ever for households to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.”

The initiative is set to be an environmentally friendly solution to the current cost of living crisis, however, the funds may not be up to the price tag.

Heating expert from Boiler Central, Myles Robinson explained the pros and cons of using ground and air source heat pumps.

Firstly, a property needs to be physically suitable for the pump in order to be worth switching for in the first place.

Mr Robinson noted this is the first major barrier as many homes may find it “unrealistic” to install a heat pump at all.

If the property does suit a pump, Mr Robinson noted ground source heat pumps “are perfect especially for underfloor heating” and are less susceptible to weather than their air sourced counterparts.

Additionally, both pumps can double as cooling systems and can last up to 25 years for ground source or 10 years for air source pumps.

However, renewable, long-term cheaper alternatives are not necessarily accessible when the installation costs can hit £35,000, as is the case for ground source heat pumps.

The Government grant would lower this to £29,000, which for many is still an unfathomable sum to find.

Unfortunately, this is compounded for many as those with a combi boiler or a hydrogen-ready boiler will not qualify for the grant in the first place.

Mr Robinson added: “Compared to a £2,000 hydrogen-ready boiler and even £7,000 for an air source heat pump, this is clearly out of most people’s reach.

“The reality is that most homeowners are looking for immediate solutions to cutting their gas bills because of the cost-of-living crisis.

“They most certainly do not have tens of thousands of pounds to spare. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is not for them – it is for those who can already afford the significant upfront costs of a greener heating system.”

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