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The grant for heat pumps in England and Wales has been increased by 50% in order to encourage more people to adopt this technology at a faster rate.

The government is raising its grants for air source heat pumps by 50% for homeowners in England and Wales, from Monday. This decision comes after receiving criticism for the slow adoption of this low-carbon technology.

The additional £2,500 in support, in addition to the initial offer of £5,000, is intended to reduce the cost of installing an air source heat pump to be lower than that of a typical gas boiler.

The funding for installing ground source heat pumps, which may not be feasible for numerous UK households due to their need for a sizable outdoor area, will be raised from £6,000 to £7,500.

The increase, disclosed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last month, coincides with the revision of the proposed restriction on new gas boilers by 2035. This comes after the government received backlash from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) regarding their strategies for home heating.

Heat pumps are viewed as essential in achieving the UK’s 2035 climate goals by reducing carbon emissions from heating buildings by half. This sector currently contributes to nearly 25% of the country’s fossil fuel consumption.

However, the government’s goal of having 600,000 heat pumps installed annually by 2028 has faced challenges in garnering public support due to the expensive initial costs of installation and inadequate information.

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) reported that the current rate of heat pump installation is inadequate and the funding for the scheme needs to be increased in order for more households to take advantage of it. According to the Public Accounts (PA), the current budget for the scheme is not being fully utilized as households are reluctant to switch due to the high costs and complexity involved.

The government was urged by infrastructure leaders to allocate £4bn annually for the next 12 years to fully fund heat pump installations and assist with energy efficiency upgrades for 1.5 million low-income households in England.

The statement also suggested that those in a more favorable financial position should have the opportunity to obtain 0% financing for expenses beyond the heat pump grant, and that more funds should be allocated to improving heating systems in social housing.

The commission stated that approximately 8 million buildings in England, which currently rely on gas boilers to heat them, will need to switch to cleaner options by 2035 in order to meet the UK’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Greg Jackson, the creator of Octopus Energy, has made significant investments in the development of heat pumps. According to him, there is a great demand for heat pumps because they are much more energy efficient than gas boilers, and with the assistance of government grants, they are now more affordable to install.

The government announced that they have allocated £10 million to aid in reducing the installation expenses of heat pumps. In addition, they will be launching an advertising initiative to promote energy-saving measures for households during the winter season.

The Secretary of Energy, Claire Coutinho, stated: “Individuals should not have to decide between reducing expenses and reducing emissions. Our practical approach allows us to maintain our ambitious goal of net zero without unfairly burdening hardworking families.”

Source: theguardian.com