Britons could face £35,000 bill with heat pump installation costs

Adam Scorer calls for 'targeted financial support' on energy bills

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Heat pumps are devices which can warm a home by transferring thermal energy from outside to circulating around a heating and hot water system. In a bid to help families lower costs and encourage energy efficiency, the Government is promoting heat pumps as a viable alternative to traditional energy provision. However, some experts are highlighting that the cost of installing one into a home could be too much for most families, even with existing Government support.

The UK is currently in the midst of a cost of living crisis which is being partially exacerbated by skyrocketing energy bills.

This hike in gas and electricity costs originates from external pressures on the wholesale energy market, as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine.

From October 2022, energy bills have risen by 27 percent for households with average usage, even with the Government’s £2,500 price guarantee in place.

As part of this Government initiative, the price per unit of gas and electricity were capped for homes with average energy usage.

In light of this, alternative energy efficient options to help families heat their home are being pushed with heat pumps being one of the many in consideration.

Through the Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme, households are able to apply for a grant to compensate for the expense of installing a heat pump or biomass boiler.

Only one grant can be given to each household and the scheme is currently available only in England and Wales.

As it stands, claimants can get £5,000 to go towards the cost of an air source heat pump or £6,000 to pay for a ground source heat pump.

This includes water source heat pumps and any which are shared ground loops. Furthermore, households can get £5,000 towards the installation cost of a biomass boiler.

Despite this support from the Government, experts are warning that the true price of a household installing a heat pump into their home could reach as high as £35,000.

Myles Robinson, an energy expert from Boiler Central, previously praised the environmentally-friendly nature of heat pumps as a source of energy.

Mr Robinson explained: “The value of heat pumps does not come in financial form, but, rather, in terms of predictability and eco-friendliness.

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“As you may be able to tell from their name, these pumps source their energy to heat a home from either the ground or the air.

“Compared to air source ones, ground source heat pumps provide more renewable heating, capable of drawing more heat for less effort and require little-to-no electricity to run.

“They are also far less dependent on the weather, compared to air source heat pumps which struggle to draw warmth from cooler air temperatures, just when you need the heating the most.”

However, he also noted some households will not be able to afford the real cost of installing a heat pump and certain homes are not able to practically accommodate one.

The energy expert added: “Unfortunately, not every home is suitable for heat pump installation.

“If you live in a flat above ground level, for example, you obviously have nowhere to dig a hole for the ground source heat pump, nor is it worth bothering to get planning permission for an air source heat pump that will last you less than a boiler.

“Furthermore, the costs of installing a ground source heat pump can rise to an eye-watering £35,000.

“Air source heat pumps are much cheaper to install, averaging to around £7,000, but they are entirely dependent on the outside weather, meaning you still need to use your boiler on the colder days.”

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