Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s overhaul of the government’s net zero targets has been hitting the headlines, but what does it mean in practice when it comes to heating your home?
One welcome piece of news for homeowners amongst the various announcements is the increase in the Boiler Upgrade Scheme from £5,000 to £7,500. This means every household is entitled to a cash grant of £7,500 to switch from a gas boiler to a heat pump. As Rishi Sunak said, “There are no strings attached. The money will never need to be repaid.”
What is the boiler upgrade scheme?
The grant is designed to offset the cost of replacing gas boilers to encourage homeowners to look for more efficient ways to heat their homes. In addition to this, all works are zero rated VAT. The percentage of the total cost of switching that the grant covers will vary according to property type. However, in some cases, the £7,500 will cover the cost of replacing your boiler with a heat pump.
Should I install a heat pump?
When it comes to answering this question, insulation is key! Heat pumps work at low temperatures, typically 40-50 degrees compared to a traditional boiler which is normally set to 60-70 degrees. We’re all used to putting heat into our houses in short bursts as and when we require the heat. A heat pump works on maintaining a comfortable level of heat in the house throughout the day, only replacing what the building is losing. This is why it’s important to be able to retain the heat in the building when installing a heat pump.
The good news is this is achievable for many homes and with the ban on gas boilers merely postponed and the more generous grant available, now is clearly a very good time to make the switch. However, it’s important to take into account that heat pumps alone are not suitable for every home. For older homes that will not have the option to upgrade their insulation levels, a hybrid system will be more suitable. This is because it retains your existing boiler with the heat pump taking the lead until the temperature outside drops to a preset level for the boiler to kick in and assist in heating the building.
What’s involved in fitting a heat pump?
The heat pump will sit outside like an air conditioning unit and will normally be piped back to the existing airing cupboard. A hot water tank is required for a heat pump and your existing one is likely to need replacing with a high efficiency cylinder.
It’s also likely that your existing radiators are sized to heat your rooms based on a 70-degree flow temperature. To compensate for the lower temperature that a heat pump delivers, it’s probable that your radiators will need to be increased in size. Underfloor heating is perfect for heat pumps as it is already designed to work at 40 degrees.
We’re here to help you make the right decision
Here at Lewington’s we have over 20 years of experience in fitting different forms of renewable heating, so we can give you the experience professional advice you need on this relatively new way of heating our homes.
We know that heat pumps are not suited to every property and that a modern gas or oil boiler may be the best option to heat your home, bearing in mind the government has postponed its previous target of banning the sale of new fossil fuel boilers from 2026 to 2035. That’s why Lewington’s are perfectly positioned to recommend a solution that works for you. Call us on 01858 433333 or fill in our contact form today to arrange a home visit to discuss your unique needs in more detail.