Questions to consider when looking at renewable energy
Is your home off the gas grid?
Heat pumps can be fitted into homes both on and off the gas grid, but homes on the grid are usually more expensive to heat with higher carbon emissions. Off-grid homes have the most potential to save on fuel bills and decrease carbon emissions.
Are you planning a full property renovation, or light refurbishment?
Do you want a whole new heating system, or simply replace your boiler? This will affect your choice of technology and the cost drastically.
How old and energy efficient is your property? Is it well insulated?
This will affect your choice of technology. In a new or recently built home which is well insulated, there is less heat loss from your property, so the heat pump can heat your home effectively at relatively low temperatures.
Will you be keeping your existing radiators and other heat emitters?
This will affect your choice of technology. If you are keeping your existing radiators, they may operate at higher temperatures than modern heat systems, so you may need a heat pump that can achieve relatively high temperatures to heat your home effectively.
Understanding the funding available
Because making a change and choosing fossil fuel alternatives is so critical, the government is incentivising homeowners who choose renewable energy sources to heat their homes. That includes those choosing to install heat pumps.
Here are two funding schemes available to offset the cost of your installation:
England and wales: Boiler upgrade scheme
The boiler upgrade scheme (BUS) is a UK Government initiative launched in Spring 2022 to encourage homeowners in England and Wales to switch to low-carbon heating systems in place of existing gas or oil heating. The Scheme offers up to £5k to assist with the up-front costs associated with upgrading to air source heat pumps and £6k for ground source heat pumps. The BUS is part of the wider heat and building strategy which aims to change the way we heat our homes and help meet the UK’s net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.
For more information click here
Scotland: Home energy Scotland loan
Scotland has a separate heating grant system called the home energy Scotland loan. This scheme allows home owners to apply for up to two home renewables systems per home, up to £17,500 in total, plus an energy storage system up to a maximum of £6000. This can include up to £11,750 cashback funding (including a £500 incentive for installing a heat metre alongside a heat pump)
For more information click here
Key questions about the boiler upgrade scheme
Is my home eligible for the Boiler upgrade scheme?
The BUS is open to people living in England and Wales. All existing domestic and non-domestic buildings are eligible, including custom builds. As with previous grant schemes, there will be a requirement for any basic energy efficiency measures to have been completed prior to the heat pump installation.
What funding is available?
Grants of £5,000 will be available for air source heat pumps. The grants will be offered at a flat rate and will not vary by the capacity of the installation. [£6000 for GSHP]
Which systems are included in the scheme?
The boiler upgrade scheme includes:
- GSHPs (ground source heat pumps), including water source heat pumps
- ASHPs (air source heat pumps)
- OR biomass boilers where replacing fossil fuel heating systems
What are the eligibility requirements for the scheme?
- Biomass plants in urban regions and areas connected to the gas grid
- Biomass plant or heat pumps greater than 45kWth
- Process heating not permitted
- Social landlords not permitted
What is the application process?
- Installer receives instructions from the property owner to carry out installation and apply for BUS grant
- Installer applies to Ofgem for a voucher, providing all necessary information
- Ofgem contacts property owner and they confirm their consent
- Ofgem assess the application and once satisfied, and property owner consent confirmed, issue a voucher to the installer
- Installer completes installation
- Installer applies to redeem the voucher, and Ofgem assess redemption application
- Ofgem pays grant to installer