What is the £5000 boiler heat pump payment?
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New analysis has shown that about £2.1billion in funding promised by the Government to insulate homes and install heat pumps has so far been left unspent. Experts have noted that these green home upgrades, once installed, increase energy efficiency, thereby reducing the amount of expensive natural gas being consumed, and thus helping families permanently slash their energy bills. Over the past year, the UK has been scrambling to end its reliance on gas imports, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent wholesale gas costs to skyrocketing levels.
These costs were eventually passed down to consumers, who are currently facing unprecedented energy bills and a cost of living crisis.
Despite this, a new analysis found that about a third of the funds promised by the Government to increase energy efficiency has not yet been spent.
The Government has vowed to invest £6.6billion between 2020 and 2025 to slash fossil fuel use and emissions from buildings including households, whilst creating high-wage, high-skill jobs.
This cash pot includes over £2billion aimed specifically at decarbonising lower-income households, which they noted would be “saving people money on their energy bills”.
However, £2.1billion of that fund still remains unspent, which is part of a broader £9.2billion figure that was promised in the Conservative general election manifesto of 2019.
Experts have pointed to energy efficiency as a way to permanently lower costs by reducing the gas and electricity needed to power your home, with some analysts estimating that it could save more than £1,000 a year under current prices.
Despite the savings that such measures can provide, however, insulation and installing heat pumps can be prohibitively expensive for many, particularly lower-income households.
Juliet Phillips, a senior policy adviser at the E3G thinktank, noted that the Government’s failure to spend the allocated funds reflected a lack of effective policies on domestic insulation and decarbonisation, the Guardian reports.
Three years ago, the Government unveiled the Green Homes Grant, which was subsequently abandoned within six months of its start, in a failed scheme that was described as “botched” by a parliamentary committee.
A number of such unsuccessful schemes over the past decade have made the UK’s housing industry hesitant to invest in training people to insulate homes and install heat pumps.
Mr Philips said: “Years of boom-bust policymaking has left industry decimated. There is a need for long-term certainty to build back the confidence needed to plan and invest in skills and supply chains.”
With the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee set to increase to £3,000 this April, experts have warned Express.co.uk the most poorly insulated homes in the UK will pay hundreds of pounds more than average.
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Following the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee in October, which froze average bills at £2,500, Kingfisher, an international home improvement retailer, warned that 19 million households living in homes rated below the Government’s target Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C rating have paid £448 more on average per year for their energy.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Nick Lakin, Group Director of Corporate Affairs at Kingfisher, said: “The UK’s housing stock is among the least energy-efficient in Europe and that is making energy bills even more expensive for households when prices are at record highs.
“People living in poorly insulated homes currently pay £448 more a year for their energy than homes that are at least EPC Band C or above, with inefficient homes often in parts of the country most in need of levelling up. This gap is set to grow even further with the price cap increase due in April.
“Ahead of next winter, we’d like to see a concerted Government effort to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes, with more incentives and support for homeowners to take action themselves.
“In the longer term, it’s also vital to train more tradespeople to help deliver the changes our homes need, so investment in growing the skills base is also a priority.”
A Government spokesperson said: “Improving the energy efficiency of homes is important to tackling fuel poverty and reducing emissions, and that’s why we’ve committed £6.6bn this parliament and a further £6bn to 2028 to make buildings more energy efficient.
“The Energy Company Obligation scheme alone has delivered improvements to around 2.4m homes and our £1bn ECO+ scheme is set to boost these efforts later this year, installing measures in households who have previously not been able to access ECO support.”
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