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A guide to heat pumps and the new £5000 grant

Heather

Written by

Heather

Last updated Thursday 4th November 2021

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For many people in the UK, making their home as energy efficient as possible is high on the agenda, especially in light of the climate crisis. Not only this, the government is now trying to help homeowners reach this goal by tackling one of the biggest carbon emitters in properties - the gas boiler.

To do this, it has recently been announced that a £5,000 heat pump grant will be available to homeowners in England and Wales to help them switch to heat pumps and other energy-efficient systems. If you’re looking to update your boiler, this could be a great incentive for you to make the eco-friendly switch. However, what is a heat pump? How does the heat pump grant work?

Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know!

What is a heat pump?

Heat pumps have often been described as acting like a fridge in reverse. They absorb heat from the outside into their liquid refrigerant. The pump then compresses the liquid to increase the temperature, condenses it, then releases the heat into your home via radiators and your hot water cylinder. There are also heat pumps that pull heat from the ground or from water.

You can spot heat pumps in your neighbourhood by keeping an eye out for air conditioner-like units on the outside of buildings.

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Pros

  • Heat pumps are significantly more energy efficient than gas boilers, as they produce nearly 3x as much energy as they consume
  • They’re much safer than their combustion counterparts
  • Heat pumps are chapter to run than gas builders
  • They generally require less maintenance than a gas boiler
  • Some heat pumps can last up to 50 years and are much more reliable

Cons

  • They’re pretty pricey to install, which is why the government is introducing the grant
  • Installation can take a while because of the complexity of figuring out the movement of heat, your household requirements, and local geology
  • Not all heat pumps are as eco-friendly as other, for the best results you should chose one that uses biodegradable fluids
  • Prepare to deal with some major disruption as installation goes on
  • Heat pumps use electricity, so without renewable energy coming into play, they can’t be carbon neutral
  • Planning permission might be required, as it alters your facade

How much do heat pumps cost?

On average, a heat pump will cost between £7,500 - £10,000 to install. This can seem pretty pricey in comparison to a gas boiler. However, the motivation behind the £5000 government grant is to help bring heat pumps in line with their more carbon-intensive counterparts.

What’s more, in the long term, you should be able to recoup your initial investment costs. Not only will a heat pump help lower the cost of your household bills, but their longevity means you shouldn’t need to replace yours for around 50 years - ideal for anyone who’s found their ‘forever home’.

What do we know about the £5000 heat pump grant?

  • The government hasn’t announced details of how to apply for heat pump grants yet
  • We expect the scheme to come into effect sometime in April 2022
  • Only 90,000 grants will be available (around 25 million homes in the UK still have gas boilers)

If you’re interested in applying for a heat pump grant, make sure you keep your eyes open for updates from the government. The amount of grants on offer is fairly limited when you consider how many boilers need replacing in the UK, therefore you should get moving as soon as you can.

Alongside this, it’s worth noting that heat pumps work best inside well insulated homes. If you’re planning an extension or home renovation, this could be the perfect opportunity to get your home as energy efficient as possible.

Book a free consultation to discuss your renovation options with a member of our team.

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