Heat pump applications triple after government grants increase to £7,500

Black air source heat pump outside unit next to house and snow covered path and garden
Heat pump grant applications have spiked since the Boiler Upgrade Scheme rose to £7,500, government figures show (Image credit: Getty Images)

The UK Government says applications for heat pump support surged after the Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant was increased to £7,500.

More families are choosing to ditch fossil fuel boilers for ground and air source heat pumps, a cleaner alternative, ministers claim.

The decision to raise heat pump grants has seemingly boosted the public's interest in the energy efficient heating solution and helped kickstart the UK's burgeoning heat pump industry.

What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which is available in England and Wales, provides financial support for families to switch from fossil fuel heating systems to a cleaner heat pump alternative.

The £450m scheme is designed to help homeowners in England and Wales afford the upfront costs of installing air source heat pumps and/or ground source heat pumps in a bid to encourage uptake of the eco-friendly technology.

The government claims the scheme, which will run until 2028, is now one of the most generous of its kind in Europe.

Why were grants increased?

Heat pump grants were increased to £7,500 for air source and grounds source heat pumps on the October 23.

This was done to provide a boost to heat pumps applications that were described previously as having a "disappointingly low uptake" by the House of Lords.

The government has laid down its plans to reduce carbon emissions by 68% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and help reach net zero by 2050, with converting homes to heat pumps from oil or gas boilers being one of the main approaches to this.

BUS increase has resulted in ‘5 times more requests for heat pumps’

The number of new applications to the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme in the first week since the grant uplift reached 1,150 – more than three times higher than the average weekly rate prior to the change.

In the subsequent three weeks, new applications for heating have remained nearly 60% higher than the previous weekly average. 

Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said: “Today’s new figures show our pragmatic approach to net zero is working. In the first week after our 50% increase to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, applications tripled.

“We are supporting hardworking families who want to make the switch and replace their boiler in a way that’s within their budgets.”

Claire Coutinho MP, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero speaks during the second day of the the Conservative Party Conference on October 02, 2023 in Manchester, England.

Claire Coutinho has claimed the government's 50% increase to the BUS has resulted in applications rising by three times the average weekly rate (Image credit: Getty Images)

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “This fantastic increase in applications through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme demonstrates not only the desire for heat pumps in this country, but also that our approach to reach net-zero works.

“We want more families to enjoy the more stable bills and cleaner heating that heat pumps have to offer – and today’s evidence that heat pumps make minimal noise is yet another reason to make the switch."

Rebecca Dibb-Simkin, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Octopus Energy Group, added: “The Boiler Upgrade Scheme has already done wonders to kickstart a nascent heat pump industry and drive hundreds of millions of pounds of private sector investment in the UK.

“Since the increase in the grant was announced, we’ve seen 5 times more requests for heat pumps from our customers, and we’ve even been able to offer some installations for free.

“Many of the planning rules around heat pumps are outdated, so it’s great the government is modernising them to make it easier for more people to get their hands on one.”

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.