The UK government has published plans to reduce carbon in the nation’s domestic heating systems.
A sum of £450m has been allocated to give households grants of £5,000 to install low-carbon heating systems – enough to replace 90,000 boilers across the UK.
The grants become available from April 2022 and are set at a level, the government says, that mean people choosing to install a heat pump will pay a similar amount as if they were installing a traditional gas boiler.
The boiler upgrade scheme is part of more than £3.9bn of new funding for decarbonising heat and buildings. This will fund the next three years of investment through the social housing decarbonisation fund, the home upgrade grant scheme, the boiler upgrade scheme and the heat networks transformation programme, and reducing carbon emissions from public buildings through the public sector decarbonisation scheme.
The thinking behind the boiler grants is to encourage people to go green at this stage, rather than force them, and to support a nascent industry whose costs should come down as it gains mass.
The government’s new target is for all new heating systems installed in UK homes by 2035 to be either using low-carbon technologies, such as electric heat pumps, or supporting new technologies like hydrogen-ready boilers. No one will have to rip out gas boilers that are still functioning, the government says.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “As we clean up the way we heat our homes over the next decade, we are backing our brilliant innovators to make clean technology like heat pumps as cheap to buy and run as gas boilers – supporting thousands of green jobs.
“Our new grants will help homeowners make the switch sooner, without costing them extra, so that going green is the better choice when their boiler needs an upgrade.
“The heat and buildings strategy sets out how we are taking ‘no-regrets’ action now, particularly on heat pumps, whilst supporting ongoing trials and other research and innovation on our future heating systems, including on hydrogen. We will make a decision on the potential role for hydrogen in heating buildings by 2026. ...