Homeowners in Scotland can now apply for £7,500 towards the cost of a new heat pump under a new Scottish government scheme.
Air source heat pumps (ASHP) and ground source heat pumps (GSHP) are low-carbon heating systems that can help households lower their energy bills in the long run. However for some their costs can be prohibitively expensive.
ASHP costs can range between £12,000-£17,000, according to EDF Energy, while a basic ground source heat pump costs between £2,000 to £15,000, depending on size and brand.
This new Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan scheme has been created, the Scottish government says, to offer greater flexibility for those looking to make their homes more energy efficient and climate-friendly. Additional renewable energy systems and installations are also available on the scheme.
Moreover, homeowners in rural areas will be able to get an extra £1,500 for a heat pump under the scheme, taking the maximum grant limit to £9,000.
Patrick Harvie, Scotland’s Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, said: “Reducing emissions from our homes and buildings is one of the most important things we can do to help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change.
“The improvements to the Home Energy Scotland Scheme – including, importantly, targeted support for those in rural areas - will make it easier for people to access funding to ensure their homes are more energy efficient and use climate friendly-heating."
How does the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan scheme work?
The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan scheme replaces a previous scheme called the Home Energy Scotland Loan and Cashback offer, in which applications had to sign up for a loan before they qualified.
This £7,500 heat pump grant can now be directly applied for on its own or alongside an interest-free loan from Home Energy Scotland.
The funding can also cover up to 75% of the total cost of other available improvements and installations (more on this below), and the remainder of funding requested can be taken up as an optional interest-free loan.
Harry Mayers, Head of Home Energy Scotland, explains: “The changes being made mean that homeowners can now apply for grant funding without a loan; this will be a huge help towards covering the cost of making energy efficiency improvements or installing renewable systems such as heat pumps.”
Who is eligible to apply?
Anyone who owns their own home in Scotland can apply. And anyone taking on a self build can apply for home renewables systems or energy storage systems.
Landlords and property developers are not eligible for the scheme.
How do I apply?
In the first instance, visit the Home Energy Scotland website and contact them by phone or email to learn how the application will work for you.
Once you’re ready to proceed, Home Energy Scotland will send you a personalised link to complete an online form whereby you can apply for funding for your selected home improvement.
What other improvements can you apply for?
In a similar way to the now-defunct Green Homes Grant (not to be confused with the Local Authority version of the scheme still in operation), home improvements on the Scottish scheme are grouped into multiple types:
- Energy efficient improvements: Include solid wall insulation, electric heating, glazing, roof insulation and cavity wall insulation
- Secondary improvements: Include heating controls, cylinder thermostats and hot water jackets. These can only be installed in combined with an ‘energy efficient improvement’
- Renewable systems: Include heat pumps (including hybrid heat pumps), solar PV panels, energy storage systems and biomass boilers or stoves.
How much you can borrow depends on the improvements or installations you want for your home, and whether you live in a rural area - as mentioned above, rural households can obtain up to £9,000 towards a heat pump.
Visit the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan overview page to find out more about the maximum grant amounts and optional loans available for each improvement.
How long will it last?
The Scottish government has committed £42m to the initiative for the year 2022-23, which covers the financial year until March 31, 2023.
However, this does not necessarily mean that the scheme will close to new applications in March. A spokesperson for Home Energy Scotland told Homebuilding & Renovating that the scheme will be reviewed in early 2023 ahead of a possible renewal of funding for 2023-24.
What other heat pump grants are available in the UK?
Heat pump grants can make a big difference towards paying upfront heat pump costs. These are some of the available schemes available now across the UK that can provide you with funding:
- Boiler Upgrade Scheme: Homeowners in England and Wales can apply for grants up to £6,000 for heat pumps
- Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme: Some local authorities will provide funding for low-income households to have energy efficiency measures undertaken, such as air source heat pumps
- Nest: Only available in Wales, low-income households people with certain health conditions can apply to this scheme to get help with heat pump installation costs
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Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He 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 hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms.
He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.