Government sets out £5,000 grants for households to swap to heat pumps

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Ministers reaffirm new target to phase out new gas boiler installations by 2035

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Rents of £5,000 will be available houses to replace their gas boiler with less Carbon Heat pumps as part of reduction efforts emissions from homes.

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NS Government The grant was announced as it reaffirmed the goal of all new heating system installations to be low-carbon by 2035, but stressed that households would not be forced to switch to their existing fossil fuels. boiler.

Switching to low carbon heating will reduce emissions in the coming years, and reduce UK dependence fossil fuel and exposure to global price spikes in gas, the ministers said.

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He said it would support 240,000 jobs across the UK by 2035.

The moves are part of a heat and buildings strategy to be published on Tuesday, along with the government’s broader plans to cut the UK’s climate emissions to zero by 2050.

Ending sales of new fossil fuel boilers was welcomed as sending an important signal to the world for the major UN Cop26 climate talks hosted by the UK, but experts and campaigners warned that the pot of money for heat pumps was not enough.

The grant will be provided through a £450 million boiler upgrade scheme to install low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps, which run on electricity and act like fridges to extract energy from the air or the ground.

The plan forms part of more than £3.9 billion to cut carbon from heating and buildings, including making social housing more energy efficient and comfortable, and reducing emissions from public buildings, over the next three years.

The £5,000 grant will be available from next April, and will mean people installing heat pumps will pay the same amount as those for installing conventional gas boilers, according to the plans.

As part of the UK-wide Heat and Building Strategy, a grant will be available for heat pumps for homes in England and Wales.

There is also a £60 million innovation fund to make clean heating systems smaller and easier to install and cheaper to run.

The government said its plan will help people install low-carbon heating systems in a simple, fair and cheap way as they come to replace their old boilers over the next decade.

And it said it would work with industry to make heat pumps the same cost as fossil fuel units to buy and run by 2030.

Officials said that with the expansion of the market and the development of technology, a major cost reduction is expected between one and a half quarters by 2025.

Heat pumps currently cost an average of £10,000 to install and do not necessarily provide savings on running costs, despite being much more efficient than gas, because of the green levy on electricity compared to gas. happens more.

Cleaning emissions from buildings, which accounted for 17% of the UK’s greenhouse gases in 2019, mostly from heating, would require a mix of low-carbon solutions, including heat networks, and potentially the use of hydrogen boilers where hydrogen can be produced. cleanly.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “As we clean up the way we heat our homes over the next decade, we are supporting our brilliant innovators to buy and run clean technology like heat pumps as much as gas boilers.” to be made cheaper for .

“Our new grants will help homeowners make the switch sooner at no additional cost, so that going green is the better option when their boilers need an upgrade.”

Trade and Energy Secretary Quasi Quarteng said: “Recently volatile global gas prices have prompted us to move away from gas boilers in the coming decade to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels and protect consumers in the long term. Highlighting the need to double the efforts.

“As technology improves and costs are reduced over the next decade, we expect low-carbon heating systems to become the clear, affordable option for consumers.”

Jan Roseno, Europe’s director at the Regulatory Assistance Project – which aims to accelerate the transition to clean, reliable and efficient energy, said the strategy had several positive elements.

He added: “The UK will be the first country in the world to ban the installation of new fossil heating systems which will set an example for others. This is an important sign for Cop26 in Glasgow.

“It is necessary to provide grants to install heat pumps because they are more expensive than gas boilers, but the funding level is much lower.”

He said the grant would only allow 30,000 homes to benefit from the grant – enough to support current installation levels – and not enough to meet the government’s goal of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028.

Environmental campaigners from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth also criticized the level of funding for heat pumps and energy efficiency measures in homes.

Ed Miliband Shadow Business Secretary said: “As millions of households face energy and livelihood crises, this is a meager, clear and completely inadequate response.

“Families up and down the country were in dire need of Labor’s 10-year plan, which calls for home insulation and zero carbon heating to cut bills by £400 a year, improve our energy security, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions. £6 billion per year was invested to reduce

But Greg Jackson, chief executive and founder of Octopus Energy, said that when the grant scheme begins, the company will install heat pumps at the same cost as gas boilers and had begun training 1,000 engineers a year.

He said it would help kickstart an affordable, clean heating revolution, and scaling up the technology and supply chain in Britain would mean companies like Octopus would soon be able to install heat pumps without government support.

“Electric heat pumps are more efficient, safer and cleaner than gas boilers and can help make homes more comfortable with less energy.

“Today we have passed a major milestone in our fight against climate change and in reducing Britain’s dependence on expensive, dirty gas,” he said.

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