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    UK to offer household grants for switching from gas boilers to heat pumps

Summary

The grants will be made available from a £450mn boiler upgrade scheme from next April.

by: Joseph Murphy

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UK to offer household grants for switching from gas boilers to heat pumps

The UK government announced on October 19 it would offer households £5,000 grants ($6,900) to install low-carbon heat pumps to replace gas boilers.

The grants will be made available from a £450mn boiler upgrade scheme from next April. The aim is that people installing heat pumps will pay a similar amount as if they were installing a traditional gas boiler, the government said.

"As we clean up the way we heat our homes over the next decade, we are backing our brilliant innovators to make clean technology like heat pumps as cheap to buy and run as gas boilers – supporting thousands of green jobs," UK prime minister Boris Johnson said. "Our new grants will help homeowners make the switch sooner, without costing them extra, so that going green is the better choice when their boiler needs an upgrade."

Over the coming years the cost of buying and running heat pumps should come down, the government said, and to ensure this, ministers want to cut the price of electricity over the next decade by shifting levies away from power to gas. The government will publish a call for evidence on this proposal with decisions made in 2022.

 The UK is also launching a new £60mn ($83mn) Heat Pump Ready innovation programme to provide funding for technological advances that make the systems smaller, easier to install and cheaper to run.

Critics of the heat pump grants noted that the scheme covers only 30,000 heat pumps annually, while there are some 25mn homes with gas boilers, suggesting that the impact of the policy will be limited. The government wants to ban the installation of gas boilers by 2035.