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Here’s how to claim £5,000 to replace your gas boiler | Fool UK

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From next year, you might be able to apply for a grant to help you switch from an old gas boiler to an eco-friendly heat pump. Here’s what we know about the grant scheme so far, and how else you can save money on energy. 

What’s the new government scheme?

From April 2022, homeowners can apply for a £5,000 grant under the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme. The grant will help subsidise the cost of moving from a gas boiler to a new, eco-friendly heat pump. 

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is part of a wider Heat and Buildings Strategy, which aims to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. By 2035, the government wants all heating systems installed in the UK to be low-carbon, so this initiative is a first step towards achieving that goal. 

How do heat pumps work, though? Well, the concept is simple enough. 

  • Air from outside your home passes through the heat pump.
  • The pump warms the air using electricity.
  • This warm air can be used to heat your home (e.g., your radiators). 
  • Any energy you don’t use can be stored for future use.

Heat pumps can be more energy-efficient than gas boilers, and they don’t emit much (if any) carbon when they run. 

How much will a new heat pump cost me?

Well, on average, it costs between £5,000 and £10,000 to install the pump, depending on the size of your property.

However, there’s a chance it’ll cost more than that, since installation costs vary. So, although £5,000 is a lot of money, it probably won’t be enough to cover the whole cost of switching to a heat pump. For many households, however, the grant could make the upgrade more affordable. 

How much do heat pumps cost to run?

It depends on the size and complexity of your heating system, and the tariff you’re on. 

For example, heat pumps are often more expensive to run on standard electricity tariffs than gas boilers. However, if you switch to a renewable or smart tariff, they can work out cheaper. This means that if you plan on changing to a heat pump, then you’ll need to shop around for a smart energy tariff or else you could be spending more money than necessary.

Could you claim a grant under the scheme?

As it stands, you can only claim this grant if you live in England or Wales. So, if you’re a homeowner in Scotland or Northern Ireland, this particular grant won’t apply to you. 

The application process isn’t clear yet, but we’ll know more in the next few months ahead of April when the scheme goes live. In the meantime, though, just bear in mind that you won’t be legally required to make the upgrade, so if you can’t afford a heat pump, fear not! There’s no need to switch just yet if you already have a working boiler and you’re happy with your system.  

How else can you save money on energy?

Switching to a heat pump is not the only way to make energy savings – here are some other suggestions. 

  • Don’t leave appliances on standby. Turn the power off at the wall. 
  • Check whether your utility provider offers smart meters. A smart meter can show you where you’re spending your money on energy so you can make changes around the home. 
  • Can you afford double glazing? It might be worth investing in new panes if you’re expunging a lot of heat through inefficient windows and doors. 
  • Turn the heating on just a few times a day – enough to warm your rooms, but without leaving the heating on for hours. 

Takeaway

A £5,000 grant could go a long way toward helping you upgrade your central heating, especially if you want an eco-friendly system for your home.

However, it still won’t make ‘green’ energy solutions affordable to everyone, especially with heating costs rising this winter. So, if you can’t afford the switch, just focus on bringing your heating bills down where you can. 

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