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The government’s much anticipated Heat and Buildings Strategy has finally been revealed, setting out its plan to incentivise investment in low-carbon heating systems. It includes new grants of £5000 – available from April next year for homeowners in England and Wales – a share of a £450 million scheme to encourage the take up of heat pumps, covering the installation of 90,000 systems over three years. It also confirms the government’s intention to outlaw the installation of traditional gas boilers in all UK homes by 2035.
To help grow the electric heat pump market and expand British manufacturing, a new £60 million Heat Pump Ready innovation programme has also been being announced. The scheme will provide funding to drive technological innovation which will make the systems smaller, easier to install and cheaper to run over the coming years.
“As the technology improves and costs plummet over the next decade, we expect low carbon heating systems will become the obvious, affordable choice for consumers,” says Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. “Through our new grant scheme, we will ensure people are able to choose a more efficient alternative in the meantime. UK manufacturers are already making electric heat pumps more attractive to consumers and more affordable and the government wants to incentivise consumers to make the switch as quickly as possible.”
Welcoming the news, Phil Hurley, chair of the Heat Pump Association, says: “This announcement is timed perfectly to take advantage of the Heat Pump Association’s recently-launched training course, with the industry now ready to retrain the UK’s army of installers with the capacity to train up to 40,000 per year, to ensure consumers can find a suitably trained and skilled heat pump installer when they need one.
“Today’s announcement will give industry and installers a huge confidence boost that now is the time to scale-up and retrain in preparation for the mass roll out of heat pumps, as well as making heat pumps as affordable as boilers, so all consumers can soon access and enjoy the benefits of affordable, reliable low carbon heating that stands the test of time.”