Ministers are considering boosting the Clean Heat Grant due to launch next April to encourage house holds and landlords to replace gas boilers and resurrect – in part – the failed Green Homes Grant.
The Clean Heat Grant will offer £4,000 as a one-off payment to help with the upfront cost of replacing a boiler.
One option is to increase the grant to incentivise people to buy heat pumps – which currently cost about £10,000 – in the next couple of years, reports The Telegraph.
“It could become more generous,” a government source said, adding that the criteria for the payment could also be widened to allow larger, non-domestic buildings to qualify.
Both options could cost tens of millions of pounds, meaning they would need sign off from the Treasury, which has capped the scheme at £100 million.
Green Homes Grant?
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (main pic) is very keen that something equivalent to the scrapped Green Homes Grant is brought back to encourage owner occupiers to take the steps to decarbonise their houses.
A final decision will be made and published in the heat and buildings strategy next month.
The government hopes to fit 5.5 million heat pumps in UK homes by 2030 with the aim of phasing out all gas boilers by 2035, while landlords have been tasked with raising the energy efficiency rating of all their properties to at least band C by 2028.
Its PRS consultation document reports that about 67% of rented properties are rated at less than EPC C, posing a risk to tenant health and leading to higher bills; those rented homes with an EPC C rating are also worth about 5% more than those currently at EPC D.
However, building expert Roger Bisby recently warned that plans to ditch gas boilers for heat pumps was a, “car crash coming in slow motion”. Bisby tells viewers on his Skill Builder channel that after getting a £4,000 government grant for a heat pump, you’d have to spend £16,000 to make it work.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, says: “We all want to see energy efficient rental homes. They cut bills for tenants, make homes more attractive to potential renters and help the country to achieve its net zero commitment.
“The Chancellor needs to develop a financial support package that works for landlords and tenants. This should especially be targeted at the hardest to treat properties where the cost of work will be prohibitive for landlords. In this way, he will also be doing the most to help the fuel poor.”