What is the £5000 boiler heat pump payment?
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Heat pumps are devices that work like a refrigerator in reverse, moving heat from the air or ground outside a building to its inside, through the circulation of a refrigerant. In the case of an air source heat pump, for example, thermal energy from the atmosphere — while it may be colder than the air inside the building in question — is nevertheless warm enough to cause the liquid refrigerant to evaporate into a gas. This gas is then passed through a compressor, which increases the pressure of the gas and causes its temperature to rise at the same time. The heat from the gas can then be used to warm up the building, while the refrigerant cools and returns to its original, liquid state, allowing for the process to begin anew.
Data from the Government and Ofgem indicate that nearly one in four house owner-occupiers — nearly 3.6 million households — are likely to want to install a heat pump.
Despite this, official grants to help cover the initial installation costs, which can easily reach the tune of £10,000 or more, will only support 90,000 installations over the next three years.
At present, only 1.3 heat pumps have been sold per 1,000 households in the UK, giving us the lowest installation rate of any country across Europe.
In contrast, 1.7 million gas boilers were sold in the year 2018 alone (the last year for which accurate, pre-Covid figures are available) — the equivalent of 16.2 boilers per 1,000 homes.
The MCS Charitable Foundation works to promote renewable energy and low carbon solutions across the UK.
According to their analysis, if a similar number of boilers are installed this year as in 2018, up to 300,000 could have been replaced with low-carbon heat pumps, given public demand.
However, they said, “the Government has limited that potential by only providing grants for 90,000 heat pump installations through the £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme.”
This, they added, “while welcome, will not be sufficient to reach the Government target of 600,000 installations a year by 2028″.
MCS Charitable Foundation director of external affairs David Cowdrey said: “It is unsurprising that demand for heat pumps is so high among homeowners.
“They are the most efficient form of heating technology and can massively reduce energy bills and carbon emissions.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to scale up heat pump installations.”
The foundation, Mr Cowdrey added, is “urging the Government to provide more targeted funding for heat pumps and extend the Boiler Upgrade Scheme for a further two years.”
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According to the MCS Charitable Foundation, the UK Government needs to follow the example set by France and other European countries to increase the rate of heat pump installations and thereby help bring down both fuel bills and carbon emissions.
In France, for example — where the authorities provide various long-term supportive policy measures around heat pumps — nearly 550,000 of the systems were installed last year, more than ten times the 40,000 installed in the UK in the same period.
In addition, the foundation said, increased financial support could also help increase the overall demand for heat pumps, with market development having the potential to bring down the cost of installations, perhaps even putting them on the same price level as gas boilers.
Mr Cowdrey added: “We urgently need increased funding for installations and for development of the supply chain if heat pumps are to reach their full potential for providing clean, affordable energy across the UK.
“Further investment in the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will make this possible.”
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