UK homeowners could receive grants of £7,000 to replace gas boilers with greener heat pumps in a £400 million government programme.
The money would help fund 60,000 heat pumps along with a campaign to encourage householders to replace their gas boilers.
The scheme would launch in April 2022 as a part of a replacement for the government’s Green Home Grants, which were scrapped due to lack of take-up.
Home energy is thought to account for 15% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. As part of efforts to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the government has a target of installing 600,000 heat pumps each year by 2028. Currently, only around 35,000 pumps are fitted annually.
Heat pumps work by drawing warmth from the ground or air. They are greener than gas boilers because the amount of heat produced is higher than the energy needed to run them.
However, they currently come with a hefty price tag – around £10,000 compared to £1,000 for the cheapest gas boilers. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that the government wants “to try and help people make that transition”.
The move comes after a UN climate report brought grim news for the planet without immediate action. The report puts pressure on governments to act in advance of the Cop26 climate talks, due to take place in Glasgow in November. It is believed that Prime Minister, Boris Johnson will announce more about the scrappage scheme ahead of the conference.
Friends of the Earth called the scheme “a start”. But, with 29 million UK homes in need of a green upgrade, the environmental campaign group said it “barely scratches the surface”.