Heat pump grants are issued by the government to help homeowners afford the upfront costs of low-carbon heating systems, and can make a big difference to those looking to switch to renewable energy.
Heat pumps and other low-carbon heating systems such as biomass boilers and solar thermal panels can help to lower long-term energy bills, compared with natural gas boilers, but they tend to cost more to install.
Financial assistance in the form of grants and loans can therefore help homeowners make the switch, lower their carbon emissions, and it also helps the government in its push towards net zero emissions by 2050.
Who is Eligible for Heat Pump Grants?
Most homeowners will be eligible for at least one type of heat pump grant. Here is a list of heat pump grants and who is eligible to apply for them:
Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government scheme which rewards homeowners who generate and use renewable heating systems to heat their homes.
Launched in 2014, the RHI pays back the difference in capital cost to install your renewable heating system (against a conventional heating technology) with quarterly payments over a seven-year period.
The amount of payment is calculated according to the heat requirements of your home and the efficiency of the heating system.
The RHI is set to end in 2022, but applications are still open until 31 March 2022 for all eligible technologies and installations.
The Clean Heat Grant
The Clean Heat Grant is set to ‘replace’ the RHI next year. It will launch in April 2022 and help to fund a transition from natural gas boilers to low-carbon alternatives.
It is expected that the government will contribute a fixed sum (potentially £4,000 or £7,000) towards the cost of a renewable heating system, and the homeowner will have to pay the rest.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industry (BEIS) has suggested the voucher system will operate on a first come, first served basis.
The full design of the grant is expected to be unveiled in the next few weeks, when the government should also elucidate details on which heating systems will be eligible (heat pumps will almost certainly be included).
The Green Homes Grant
Now no longer accepting applications, the Green Home Grant ran from September 2020 to March 2021, and under the scheme most homeowners were eligible to apply for vouchers up to £5,000 to install heat pumps.
Reports suggest however that the government might reboot the Green Homes Grant, which could be announced in the autumn spending review. Confirmation of the timing of the review is expected to be announced in September.
Heat the Street
A UK first renewable heating project, Heat the Street will encourage people in Stithians Village in Cornwall to switch to ground source heat pumps.
Kensa Utilities, which has been awarded a £6m grant by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to part-fund the project, is now looking for 175 private households in Stithians who want to be part of the project.
Successful applications will switch to a new renewable heating system worth around £20,000 per household, complete with a ground source heat pump, radiators, hot water cylinder and smart thermostat. You can register your interest here.
What About Outside of England?
There are alternative sources of support available across the UK:
In Northern Ireland we'd recommend contacting NI Energy Advice for advice on heat pump grants
Home Energy Scotland
Scottish homeowners can use Home Energy Scotland to get an interest-free loan from the Scottish government to pay the upfront costs of air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.
Warmer Homes Scotland
A similar scheme, Warmer Homes Scotland is designed for low-income households and vulnerable people who can apply for grants for heat pumps and other energy-efficient home improvements.
Low-income households in Wales and people with certain health conditions can apply to the Nest scheme to get help with heat pump installation costs.
Jack is News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, and strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and planning reforms. Having bought his first home in 2013, he and his wife have renovated almost every room and recently finished a garden renovation.
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