Heat pumps: Thousands flock to install boiler alternative as gas prices soar

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Over the past year, the UK has looked to end its reliance on the volatile natural gas markets by promoting the installation of heat pumps. This technology, which replaces gas boilers for heating, has been tipped to reduce bills, as high gas prices make boilers more expensive to run. However, heat pumps have a much higher upfront cost, charging Britons anywhere from £5,000 to £10,000.

In order to boost heat pump installation in the face of Russia’s manipulation of gas supplies, the UK launched the Boiler Upgrade Scheme at the end of May.

Under the scheme, Britons would be offered up to £5,000 in subsidies to replace their gas boilers with these energy-efficient technologies.

First opened up on May 23, the latest government figures show that the BUS received 4,337 voucher applications by the end of July 2022.

An overwhelming majority of these applications came for installations of air source heat pumps, accounting for 97 percent of all requests.

Meanwhile, just four applications were made for shared ground loop ground source heat pumps, and 48 were for biomass boilers.

In total, 1,208 redemption applications were received, of which 912 were approved and paid before 1 August.

The figures show that of all the vouchers that were redeemed, gas accounted for over half (53 percent) of the fuel types being replaced through the BUS.

Almost all the redemptions were for installation in domestic properties, with only four heat pumps being installed in non-domestic properties.

READ MORE: Heat pumps: ‘Gimmick’ incentive plan torn apart- benefits wealthy

The figures revealed South West and South East of the UK received the hives tnumber of applications and redemption until July 2022.
South West had 854 applications while South East had 826, collectively accounting for nearly 40 percent of all applications and redemptions.

The figures also show that the for those vouchers that have already been redeemed, the median cost of a BUS installation of an air source heat pump was £12,832 with a median capacity of 10kW.

Meanwhile, the equivalent cost of a BUS installation for a ground source heat pump was £26,371 with a median capacity of 13kW.

With a cost of living crisis underway, for many households such figures are unaffordable, which has led to some experts slammed the Government’s policy of promoting heat pumps.

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