It has been confirmed by the government that Landlords and homeowners in England and Wales will be offered subsidies of £5,000 from April 2022 to help replace old gas boilers with heat pumps.
This comes on the back of the government announcing their ambitious plans earlier this year to reduce carbon emissions in the UK by 78% by 2035, bringing the country more than three-quarters of the way to net zero by 2050.
The government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy states that homes represent 21% of the UK overall greenhouse gas emissions. So, it’s no surprise that we are starting to see pressure put on homeowners and landlords to make changes.
Currently only a small percental of the UK’s home are heated by low-carbon methods, and this new proposal will encourage a move to a greener, lower carbon solution to heating a home: heat pumps.
Over the next 15 years, gas boilers will be phased out entirely and, by 2035, it will no longer be possible to buy a new gas boiler.
Working boilers can continue to remain in properties, so there is no obligation to replace your gas boiler immediately, however, these changes will no doubt encourage landlords to make the switch to heat pumps as the years go on and do their bit to create more ‘eco’ homes.
The grant that the government has put in place, is aimed to help reduce costs for the new technology for 2030 and onwards. Currently costing somewhere between £6,000 – £15,000 (depending on the size required) it is hoped that this new level of support will help landlords and homeowners to make the change sooner, whilst avoiding additional costs to do so.
Although the details of how to apply have not yet been released, the scheme will work in a similar way to the Green Homes Grant which was sadly scrapped earlier this year, in that the government will contribute a fixed sum towards the cost of a renewable heating system, and the homeowner will have to pay the rest.
What is a heat pump?
In a nutshell, a heat pump is a low-carbon way of heating your home and therefore offers a ‘greener’ alternative to a gas boiler, whilst still being as effective.
The device takes energy from a cooler place (usually outside) and uses electricity to increase the temperature inside your property.
In addition to heating, the heat pump can also act as a cooling system as it can take hot air from inside and transfer it to the cold air outside, perfect for helping us all get through these hotter summer months.
Why should I consider making these changes?
Despite the government’s plans to reduce carbon emission by 78%, scientist already claim this reduction is not enough and is more likely be tightened than it is to be relaxed.
What other changes can we expect?
Alongside rules regarding gas boilers to be enforced from 2035, it is expected that the minimum energy efficiency rating is likely to go up from 2025 for new tenancies.
The current minimum rating for all properties is currently E and unless your property is exempt, you are at risk of large fines and prosecutions if these standards are not met. Looking ahead, we are expecting this to go up to C in the coming years, in an effort to further help the government’s plan to reduce emissions.
This will also come with further energy efficiency rating standards to be enforced, including: requiring post improvement EPC’s, council having power to inspect properties and a new database for rented properties.