What is a heat pump? Are they better than gas boilers, how much do they cost and how can I apply for the £5,000 grant?

Heat pumps are now being pushed by the Government as a way to help the UK hit its climate targets.

By Abi Whistance
Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 1:45 pm

As part of a new initiative to help reduce Britain’s reliance on fossil fuel heating, the Government has announced plans to offer £5,000 grants to help around 90,000 households install heat pumps in their homes by 2024.

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But what are heat pumps and are they more expensive than using fossil fuel to heat homes?

Heat pumps are now being pushed by the Government as a way to help the UK hit its climate targets. Photo: PA

Here is everything you need to know about heat pumps.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump works by drawing in heat from outdoors and concentrating it into heat that can then be expelled indoors.

The heat it draws in from outdoors usually comes from the ground or a nearby water source.

Why are they better for the environment?

Gas boilers use fossil fuels to create the heat used in homes across the UK.

These fossil fuels make up a fifth of the entire UK's carbon emissions, making it impossible to reach climate targets if they remain in circulation in the majority of homes.

Heat pumps do not rely on fossil fuels, instead they draw in naturally occuring heat from the ground and water sources.

Are they expensive?

Yes, heat pumps are a lot more expensive than gas boilers.

Currently they cost between £6,000 to £10,000 depending on which pump is purchased, however it is predicted that this cost will drastically drop as more people have them installed over the next few years.

How is the Government helping pay for heat pumps?

The new initiative announced by the Government means that although heat pumps are currentlymore expensive than a gas boiler, they will assist homeowners in the fitting of one with a grant.

These grants are up to £5,000 per household and are being offered to just short of 100,000 homes across the UK.

Who can apply for a £5,000 grant?

The Government has not yet announced precise details of how to apply for the grant, but it will be available to homeowners in England and Wales from next April.

Are they as good as a gas boiler at heating homes?

Yes, when installed properly they can work just as well as a gas boiler without the damaging effect on the environment.

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