Heat pumps: Kensa Contracting install heaters in Thurrock

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Energy giant Centrica has announced that its subsidiary company Scottish Gas has launched a “market-leading” heat pump scheme, offering installations as low as £499. The energy company has vowed to boost demand for heat pumps, by guaranteeing to provide the lowest quote for a heat pump install, which tends to be one of the biggest factors putting people off replacing their gas boilers with heat pumps. They added that through the Scottish Government’s £7,500 grant to install heat pumps, they are able to offer quotes starting at £499, with a promise to match any lower quote offered by another company.

Heat pumps can cost anywhere from £10,000 to £20,000, with many quoting an average of £13,000 for installations. Speaking to Express.co.uk, a spokesperson for Scottish Gas clarified that the company would basically subsidise the rest of the cost, which could be around £5,000.

In a statement, Centrica, which also owns British Gas said: “Scottish Gas has installed more heat pumps than any other company and has committed to training 3,500 engineers in green skills

“Scottish Gas is on a mission to help customers lower their emissions and has launched new heat pump advice service to help people make the transition.”

In a bid to help more households replace their gas boilers with energy-efficient heat pumps that run on electricity, Scottish Gas said that they will match anything lower offered by another company for an MCS credited installation.

Over the past year, the UK has been scrambling to roll out heat pumps at scale, particularly as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent energy bills soaring to record levels due to a restricted supply of natural gas.

Heat pump technology is widely recognised as the best immediate option for millions of off-grid, well-insulated homes, and is regarded as critical to keeping the UK on track to achieve net zero by 2050.

Aside from helping the UK reach net zero, the green home upgrade can also slash energy bills as they are 350 percent efficient compared to the best boilers being 90-95 percent.

However, its price has been a limiting factor for installation for many. This is why to accelerate heat pump rollout, the UK Government has launched the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which offers households up to £5,000 in subsidies for installing an air source heat pump.

Meanwhile, the Scottish government has announced that homeowners can now apply for a standalone grant of £7,500 from the Home Energy Scotland Scheme to install heat pumps.

The enhanced measures will also include an extra £1,500 to homeowners in rural areas, in line with a commitment made as part of the Bute House Agreement.

Meanwhile, Scottish Gas hopes that their offer, which applies to a standard air source heat pump up to 7Kw and a standard cylinder with a capacity up to 200L, “will help more people make the switch and lower their emissions.”

In a statement, they said: “The company’s Net Zero Index released at the end of 2022 showed that there is more uncertainty about low carbon heating compared to other energy efficiency products like insulation and solar panels.

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“When homeowners were asked what they would replace their existing boiler with, 37 percent said a similar gas or oil-fired boiler and only 14 percent said they’d choose a heat pump.”

Meanwhile in the rest of the UK, British Gas has sparked a price war for heat pumps with major providers like Octopus Energy, E.ON and EDF to slash installation costs as the UK scrambles to replace gas boilers with low-carbon alternatives.

The UK’s main household energy supplier has said it will price match any offer by rival competitors for accredited installations. The firm has set a starting price of £2,999 per install for an air source heat pump. This is just £1 less than the £3,000 starting price for a standard installation offered by rival company Octopus Energy.

This price is far below standard installation costs, which are on average £10,000. It is even lower than the typical cost would be with the Government’s £5,000 grants offered as part of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

It is all in place help Westminster hit its target of rolling out 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028 as part of its drive to Net Zero emissions by 2050.

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