British Gas unveils ‘essential’ heat pump lifeline to help slash £8000

Boris Johnson discusses introduction of heat pumps to UK homes

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British Gas has unveiled a major new scheme, offering to help Britons replace their gas boilers with a heat pump for £4,999, helping households lower their energy bills. The company believes heat pumps will play an “essential part” in the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero goals by 2050. British Gas has installed over 1,500 heat pumps to date and even completed the first install to benefit from the Government boiler upgrade scheme. Heat pumps are a low-carbon alternative to gas boilers which the Government is scrambling to roll out on scale to reach its net zero targets. While heat pumps have been tipped to lower energy bills by ending households reliance on gas, the technology is prohibitively expensive for most, costing an average of £13,000 for installations. 

The Government has tried to boost the rollout of these green home upgrades by launching the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which offers up to £5,000 in subsidies to replace their aging gas boilers. 

Centrica, the parent company to British Gas, wrote that heat pump technology “is widely recognised as the best immediate option for millions of off-grid, well-insulated homes”.

They added that since heat pumps have a 350 percent efficiency compared to the best boilers 95 percent, an accelerated heat pump rollout is critical to achieving the UK’s net zero by 2050 target.

Andrew Middleton, Managing Director, Net Zero Ventures, British Gas, said: “Heat pumps are an essential part of the UK’s journey towards a decarbonised future.

While we recognise that many households are being cautious with their spending in the current climate, we’re encouraging those customers who can make the move to low carbon heating to do so now, and benefit from the government incentives for early adopters.

“Installing a heat pump is one of the single best things households can do today to lower their carbon footprint. While specifications will differ to suit a variety of homes, it’s important we act now to start customers on this journey.

“That’s why we’ve committed to training 3,500 apprentices over the next decade, many of whom will gain specialist green skills to support with the demand that’s coming.”

Under Centrica’s new scheme, British Gas will install a standard air source heat pump up to 7Kw and a dumb cylinder with a capacity of up to 200L, along with mechanical and electrical installation. The company will further support customers by offering five years of interest-free credit and five years warranty after installation.

This comes as the Government recently unveiled a new £15million boost to funding innovative projects that are looking to make heat pumps cheaper and easier to install.

Britons are currently facing skyrocketing energy bills thanks to the rise in wholesale gas costs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While the UK does not import gas from Russia, it is heavily dependent on gas, particularly to heat homes through boilers.

The new £15million pool of funding would be distributed by the Government across 24 innovation projects to make “low carbon heating like heat pumps cheaper and easier to install.”

The funding is part of the UK’s £60million Heat Pump Ready programme, which is looking to develop innovative solutions that would tear down the barriers to the rollout of low carbon technology in homes and businesses across the country.

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In a statement, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The Government is confident that, as the market for low carbon heating grows, the cost of technology will fall rapidly.

“Working with industry, the Government is aiming for heat pumps to cost the same as fossil fuel boilers to buy and run by 2030 at the latest with big reductions of at least 25-50 percent by 2025.”

Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan said: “In light of rising global gas and oil prices, getting low-carbon heating technology into homes is a priority for this Government as it will help households ditch the costly fossil fuels that are driving up bills.

“Heat pumps are a proven, reliable technology that uses cheaper renewable energy produced in the UK. We are already bringing costs down through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and slashing VAT to zero, but by finding innovative ways to make them even cheaper and easier to install, we will help more homes see the benefits even quicker.”

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