If you want to install an air source heat pump in your home, you could receive a grant from the government to help cover the cost.
Air source heat pumps have become increasingly popular with Brits who want to install renewable heating systems in their homes, but many homeowners say they cannot afford a heat pump at the current prices. To encourage households to opt for a renewable energy source for their properties rather than a gas boiler, the UK government is offering financial help towards the cost of purchasing and installing an air source heat pump through grants – such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).
What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a government-run scheme that aims to help homes in England and Wales switch to low-carbon and more environmentally friendly heating systems, like air source heat pumps. Through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, grants of £5,000 will be available to help homeowners afford the upfront cost of the air source heat pump itself and the installation.
In addition to air source heat pumps, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme covers ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers. The grant only covers biomass boilers in rural locations and properties off the gas grid. You can get £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump if you’re eligible for the scheme or £5,000 off a biomass boiler.
Replacing the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) that ended on 31st March 2022, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme started on 1st April 2022 and will run until April 2025. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is part of the government’s Heat and Building Strategy to cut carbon emissions from UK homes and workplaces and help the country reach its goal of net-zero by 2050.
How Does the Boiler Upgrade Scheme Work?
The government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme is open to homes and businesses in England and Wales that want to upgrade from electric or fossil fuel heating systems to an air source heat pump, a ground source heat pump or a biomass boiler. If you want to upgrade to an air source heat pump, you can get £5,000 off the cost of your new low-carbon heating system.
Your MSC certified installer has to apply for the grant, not you. If the £5,000 does not cover the cost of installing your air source heat pump, you will need to pay the balance.
We should mention that the Boiler Upgrade Scheme operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and the government is offering grants for 30,000 heat pumps every year until April 2025.
Am I eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
You may be eligible if you own your own home or small non-domestic property in England or Wales and want to replace an existing fossil fuel system. The property must have an installation capacity up to 45kWth and a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with no outstanding loft or cavity wall insulation recommendations.
The grant will not be available if you live in a new-build property unless you’re building your own home. An MSC certified installer can advise you on whether an air source heat pump is suitable for your property and if you’re eligible for the grant.
Will £5,000 cover the cost to install an air source heat pump?
On average, the cost to supply and install an air source heat pump is between £5,000 and £11,000, depending on its heat output and the brand you choose. If the £5,000 grant does not cover all installation costs, you must pay the balance. Depending on the installer or company you hire to install your heat pump, you might be able to spread the cost of the remaining balance by paying in instalments.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is designed to help make it possible to install heat pumps in homes for around the same price as gas boilers. So, if you’re eligible for the grant and the £5,000 does not cover the total cost to install your air source heat pump, the balance you pay could be a similar cost to a new gas boiler.
How do I apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
As mentioned above, you do not apply for the grant. Your installer does this for you, and the grant amount is discounted from the total price you pay for your air source heat pump and installation.
The steps of the application process include:
- You find an MCS certified installer who can carry out the work and tell you whether you’re eligible for the grant.
- The installer gives you a quote and, once you accept it, will apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant on your behalf.
- The installer applies to energy regulator Ofgem for a Boiler Upgrade Scheme voucher.
- Ofgem contacts you and confirms your consent.
- Ofgem reviews the application with your permission and issues a voucher to the installer.
- The installer installs your air source heat pump.
- The installer applies to Ofgem to redeem the voucher once the installation is complete.
- Ofgem pays the grant to the installer.
Before agreeing to any work, we recommend getting quotes from several installers to ensure you get the best value for money.