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£5,000 heat pump grants to replace gas boilers

The government has announced £5,000 heat pump grants to help you switch from your existing gas boiler. Here we explain what a heat pump is, how the scheme works, the disadvantages of heat pumps, and how to apply.

4 minute read

heat pumps grant

The government has announced £5,000 heat pump grants will be available to homeowners in England and Wales to help them switch to heat pumps and other energy-efficient systems and replace old gas boilers.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme grants will be available from next April and will mean the cost of installing a heat pump should be similar to that of fitting a traditional gas boiler. Some £450m has been allocated to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme over three years. It was set out in the government’s Heat and Building Strategy to reduce carbon emissions from buildings, published this week.

In the strategy the government made a number of “ambitions” including:

  • Phasing out the installation of new natural gas boilers from 2035.
  • Working with industry to reduce the costs of installing a heat pump by at least 25-50% by 2025. The aim is that heat pumps are no more expensive to buy and run than gas boilers by 2030

The move will significantly cut the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels. It will also reduce exposure to global price spikes and support up to 240,000 jobs in the UK by 2035. And the government says no one will be forced to remove their existing fossil fuel boiler. Instead, it’s hoping to see a gradual transition to low-carbon heating systems by 2035.

Are heat pump grants enough?

Experts have criticised the plan as not being far reaching enough. As while up to 25 million UK homes have gas boilers, the heat pump grants will fund just 90,000 pumps over three years. And critics have also said to get the most out of the switch, many households will need costly insulation and other home improvements.

The HomeOwners Alliance’s Paula Higgins said, ‘We welcome the introduction of heat pump grants as a way to raise awareness and to encourage homeowners to make the switch. But to make the most out of the heatpump, homeowners will likely also need to upgrade their insulation and to replace their radiators.  Without further incentives and financing, a move to heat pumps is unlikely to be enough to keep the nation warm.  Also, government needs to follow through on their promises in order to regain trust after the early termination of the Green Homes Grant.” 

What is a heat pump?

Air source heat pumps look like air conditioning units on the outside of buildings and they work a bit like a fridge in reverse. They absorb heat from the outside air into a liquid refrigerant. A pump compresses the liquid to increase the temperature, then condenses the liquid to release heat. This heat is then sent to radiators and the hot water cylinder.

There are also heat pumps that draw energy from the ground or water.

Because they extract heat from the environment, which is possible even at low outside temperatures, heat pumps, which are powered by electricity, produce around three times the energy they use. This makes them much more efficient than a gas boiler.

For tips on getting the most out of your boiler and central heating, read our guide Get your heating working for you

How much do heat pumps cost?

Costs vary depending on the pump and the size of your house, although installing a new system can cost around £10,000 on average

However, the heat pump grants aim to make the cost of installing a heat pump similar to that of getting a new boiler. And energy firm Octopus Energy, reportedly said it expected homeowners to pay about £2,500 to the cost of installing a heat pump, roughly equivalent to the cost of a new gas boiler. And that the government subsidy would cover the rest.

However, if you have a heat pump installed, your radiators will run at a lower temperature than with a gas boiler. So you may need to change older, single panel radiators and replace with newer ones to make sure they heat your house sufficiently. This will add to the cost. Also, many houses will need an upgrade to make them more energy efficient, including insulation, before installing a heat pump too.

Are heat pumps different to run?

The most noticeable difference is you won’t get the quick boost in temperature you get with gas when you’re feeling cold and put the heating on. Heat pumps heat radiators at a lower temperature than gas boilers so your house will warm more slowly.

Also, you’ll need space in your garden for the external condenser unit, this needs to be close to or attached to your home.

How to apply for heat pump grants

The Government hasn’t announced details of how to apply for heat pump grants yet. However, as there is a limit on the number of heat pump grants available, it’s a good idea to keep your eye out for details over the next few months so you can apply as soon as possible if you’re interested so you don’t miss out.

Sign up to our newsletter to hear updates on how to apply for a heat pump grant as they happen

Leave a comment (27)* Required

  1. Dominic OwnerDominic Owner

    20 year old boiler – sign me up!

  2. R HardwickR Hardwick

    My boiler is 13 yrs old. Please sign me up for news on the governments heat pump grant

  3. chris beamanchris beaman

    would like information on grants to help with the cost i am on a benefit and heat our home using LPG


    please sign me up for the governments heat pump news

  5. bernard walter Adsettbernard walter Adsett

    Please sign me up for the government heat pump news. Our boiler is about 17 years old and may require replacing in the near future.

  6. Raj MaryaRaj Marya

    Please sign me up for the government heat pump news. Our boiler is about 18 years old and may replacing in the near future.
    Kind regards

  7. jurgen burnardjurgen burnard

    Hi there,

    Please sign me up for any government grant news for air source heat pump.


    Jürgen Burnard

  8. Brendan WhelanBrendan Whelan

    I would like to know when grants are available.

  9. john hearljohn hearl

    our boiler is 17 years old and we have underfloor central heating. Please keep me informed


    I am interested in finding out more about heat pump.

  11. david harrisdavid harris

    I currently enjoy the benefit of hot water on demand but if I have interpreted the document correctly a heat pump will mean a return to the hot water tank with its disadvantages for the last one up (in large families)for the race for the morning shower

  12. John BonifaceJohn Boniface

    I am interested in finding out more about heat pumps and if it would be suitable for our house.

  13. Chris GibbChris Gibb

    No comment as yet.

  14. T.BraganzaT.Braganza

    I quite agree with Geoff Adams, in addition to all he has said ; the cost of electricity, I think, is already 3 times more than gas to produce the same amount of heat, so how can someone say the heat pump is more efficient ? (Lets compare the cost of producing 1 unit of heat from gas & the Heat pump).
    Also the existing power cables supplying our homes will have to be massively increased to take on the load of the Heat Pumps by many Kw’s.

  15. Shelagh MiddlehurstShelagh Middlehurst

    I am interested in finding out more about heat pumps and if one would be suitable for our house.

  16. anna lygoeanna lygoe

    updates please thanks

  17. shy patelshy patel

    Would the installation be done by DIYer( may save cost) as it would not involve Gas and would the existing pipe work needs to upgrade which may need to be left up floorboards. The electrical would needs to be by carried out by Quf qualified engineer . The cost will add up .The grov. granti is not enough.

  18. Ewa LeeEwa Lee

    This is just another way the “government” = Globalists are making sure that peopel wont be able to sell their properties if they cant afford the heat pump installation and default on their mortgages thus transfer of real estate into their hands. There is a nefarious agenda here

  19. daniel harnaydaniel harnay

    The costs that i have been quoted for my ground floor converted flat are £15,000 & £ 16,000 without changing the existing rads .

  20. Mary DixonMary Dixon

    I’ very interested and in the new technology I wish to look into cost my gas boiler is coming up to renewal fitting of new radiators ?????

  21. Geoff AdamsGeoff Adams

    Air source heat pumps are NOT the way to go! They are INEFFICIENT at low temperatures i.e. when you most need them, plus they need ELECTRICITY to run them ALL of the time. Then there are the problems of installing them in existing homes, and particularly in older homes, not to mention the cost of improved insulation. I could go on, but let me just point out that the government has no money of its own; it spends taxpayer’s money, so how can a “government grant” (to a taxpayer) really be a grant?

  22. Jay PaulJay Paul

    As one of the criteria is to insulate your home – and change your radiators, will there be incentives to help with these prior to installation of Heat Pumps?

  23. Kim galeKim gale

    I am about to purchase a house that has no central heating. would I be eligible for any gov help towards the cost of installing heating? I am 64 and don’t get any benefits atm.

  24. helen maliahelen malia

    please send me detail of heat pump

  25. David GDavid G

    New installations (no existing radiators) should allow for the heat pump to be used for air conditioning. Summers are getting warmer and electricity from the sun in summer should be cheap.

  26. Rajitha KolamunneRajitha Kolamunne

    Great need more information to understand how year pumps are cost effective in the long run

  27. richard david bullimorerichard david bullimore

    i want a heat pump. Are there any incentives now rather than wait till next April? Thanks.

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