The government has launched its Heat and Buildings Strategy, heralding a cheap clean heating revolution and promising to make heat pumps no more expensive – or even cheaper – to buy and run than gas boilers.

Home owners will receive government grants of up to £5,000 from next April to buy the pumps to replace their old boilers over the next decade through a new £450 million three-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

The government and industry will work together to help meet the aim of heat pumps costing the same to buy and run as fossil fuel boilers by 2030.

kwasi karteng beis

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) says recent volatile global gas prices have highlighted the need to double down on efforts to reduce Britain’s reliance on fossil fuels and move away from gas boilers over the coming decade to protect consumers in long term.

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Phil Hurley (pictured), chair of the Heat Pump Association, says the industry is now ready to retrain the UK’s army of installers with the capacity to train up to 40,000 per year, to ensure consumers can find suitably trained and skilled heat pump installers.

He adds: “Today’s announcement will give industry and installers a huge confidence boost that now is the time to scale-up and retrain in preparation for the mass roll out of heat pumps, as well as making heat pumps as affordable as boilers, so all consumers can soon access and enjoy the benefits of affordable, reliable low carbon heating that stands the test of time.”

However, Dave Sheridan, executive chairman at Homes England-backed modular house builder Ilke Homes, says the new strategy must be more ambitious in its goal to decarbonise the UK’s housing stock.

“To avoid huge retrofitting costs, policymakers must prioritise the delivery of zero-carbon new homes now by bringing forward the requirement to reach the Future Homes Standard ahead of 2025,” says Sheridan.

“The government’s target of installing 600,000 air source heat pumps in UK homes by 2028 is achievable as half of those should be in new homes. The sooner we move to these low-carbon technologies, the sooner we can bring down capital costs.”

Green Homes Grant

Kevin Wellman (pictured), CEO of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, tells LandlordZONE that he would like to see a viable alternative introduced to the Green Homes Grant Scheme.

“It is important that any schemes are easy for landlords and qualified installers to access, as there is a real danger of a miss-match between supply and demand,” he says.

“In order to achieve the government’s aspirations for net zero, 100,000 installers need to be upskilled in low carbon technologies.”

Many landlords believe the targets are wishful thinking and that its aim to see all rented properties raised to an energy rating of band C or above by 2030 is a ‘pipedream’ unless upgrades are backed with financial and practical support.

Read the Commons guide to the Heat and Building Strategy document.

6 COMMENTS

  1. What about the additional costs – the insulation required for it to be effective; the new radiators; the new pipework; the new water tank? What about legionella disease in water tanks that don’t heat water hot enough to kill the bacteria? What about the space requirements inside & out? What about the noise?

    If only it were as simple as bringing down the price of the heat pump!

  2. All very pertinent questions. I’m a Renewable Energy Consultant and before I even quote for a heat pump system, I ask about where the air source heat pump will be located – can’t be within 1m of boundary without planning permission and siting has to be thought about carefully to avoid potential noise issues to neighbours or client. We advise – beef up insulation first and change radiators and get rid of any microbore pipework – considering all these issues usually rules out heat pumps. Ground source HP only for those with large plot and buckets of money!

  3. Why is this grant only available to those that have a gas supply and hence a gas boiler. What about all those that are penalised by the EPC system for having to heat with electricity as they have no gas supply. It is also noted that heat pumps require electricity to operate!

  4. It has been estimated that to have all the installation requirements for HP could be £40000 per property.

    Currently it ISN’T a requirement for any letting property to have a HP.

    Just EPC C status.
    Just achieving that on the 680000 rent properties that aren’t currently EPC C status is unviable.

    LL will dump these dud properties into the market.

    They should have sold them years ago.

    But sell now as better late than never.

    Rarely will it ever make economic sense to install HP in rental properties.

    Yet the potential CG which most LL rely on as a pay off for pretty useless yields will disappear if lenders value properties for less if they don’t have HP.

    For most there would be no real point in bothering to be a LL if values are reduced because you don’t have a stupid HP.

    These allegedly Green measures could destroy the UK property market.

    But certainly for LL it just isn’t worth the risk in staying in a market where lenders could in one fell swoop downvalue at the behest of an idiot Govt all properties that refused to have HP installed.

    I’m seriously considering buying a spare boiler for when my cheapo one packs up.

    Not gonna get a stupid HP.

    If they turned off gas I’d have to break out the Primus stove as I have a gas range.

    I’d get an oil fired boiler before even considering a HP.

    Plenty of room in the garden for an oil tank.

    You can also use heating oil for other things.
    Mix it with chip oil and can get you quite a distance!!!

    Between you me and the gatepost!!

    No way am I having a HP.
    Can’t see Govt banning heating oil.

    Only problem with heating oil is the boiler can’t be mounted conveniently on the wall where my gas boiler current hangs.

    They tend to be large floor mounted boilers.

    But all this green hogwash could be the end of the PRS.

    Fortunately I’m selling up so it WON’T affect me.

    The EPC C status issue is bad enough but banning gas boiler sales is ridiculous.
    If I had a portfolio I would invest in about 10 spare boilers.

    Very soon prices will start to increase as manufacturers wind down their gas boiler production lines.

    As soon as lenders start taking into account all this green crap LL will need to sell up.
    Few LL could cope with a downvalue of £40000.

    Better to sell off now before the lenders institute downvalues.

    Mind you if they do downvalue could collapse the property market due to lots of negative equity.
    ESPECIALLY BTL with loan covenant breaches.

    FHL and SA seems far more viable as no EPC requirements etc.

    I don’t believe this Govt has a clue how their measures could irreparably harm the UK property market.

    Very dangerous from an electoral perspective.

    Interfere with UK property values at your peril!

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