Boris Johnson discusses introduction of heat pumps to UK homes
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Octopus Energy has unveiled a new heat pump that will cost Britons the same price or cheaper than a typical gas boiler does. The green energy firm is currently in a price war with British Gas as major providers look to slash installation costs as the UK scrambles to replace gas boilers with the low-carbon alternatives. According to Greg Jackson, the CEO of Octopus Energy, buying and installing their new self-designed heat pump will cost homeowners as little as £2,500. As the wholesale gas prices have reached unprecedented levels in the past, experts have called for an increased rollout of heat pumps, which use electricity.
Experts argue that doing so could help tackle “three of the biggest challenges” that the country is facing today, energy security, cost of living, and climate change.
Aside from reducing the UK’s expensive gas imports, heat pumps are also tipped to slash household energy bills, are they are three to four times more energy efficient than the best boilers.
Despite the benefits of a heat pump, many families have found the installation costs of the green home upgrade to be prohibitively high, setting Britons back by between £7,000 and £13,000 when costs such as home adaptations are factored in.
To help accelerate the rollout of heat pumps as part of the UK’s plan to end its reliance on expensive gas and reach net zero, the Government launched the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, alongside a commitment to ban gas boilers in new builds by 2025.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) offers £5,000 grants for the installation of an air source heat pump and £6,000 to install a ground source heat pump, significantly slashing the cost of the low-carbon technology.
Octopus Energy noted that once the Government grants have been factored in, households can install their newly designed heat pumps at prices starting at £2,500.
However, they noted that based on the size of their home, most households will end up paying somewhere between £3,000 and £3,500, which is roughly equivalent to how much it costs to install a typical gas boiler.
Proponents of heat pumps have long argued that one of the biggest advantages of green technology is their energy efficiency, which means that after the upfront costs are paid, heat pumps will eventually pay for themselves thanks to the massive savings in energy bills.
What is the £5000 boiler heat pump payment?
With heat pumps now being priced at around the same levels as gas boilers, installing the low-carbon heating upgrade has become more accessible for millions of families, allowing them to slash their energy bills.
Heat pumps harness heat from the ground or the air around a property, increasing it, and moving it into the building, allowing the owner to keep their home at a steady, ambient temperature throughout the day.
Despite the Government’s ambitions to install 600,000 a year by 2028, figures show that the UK’s rollout of heat pumps is still lagging behind due to a number of factors.
Official figures show that the UK’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme had issued only 8,771 vouchers between 23 May last year, when applications first opened, and the end of November..
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Greg Jackson told the Telegraph said that in a major breakthrough, engineers from his firm were able to shrink the cost of manufacturing the heat pumps, reducing the total cost to consumers.
He said: “It’s designed to be lower cost hardware, lower cost to install and to be able to cover a bigger percentage of UK homes. It’s a serious breakthrough,” he said of Octopus’ new device.
“At the moment, if we have to buy a heat pump, typically we are looking at £3,000 for the hardware. This will now enable us to get hold of them for £1,500. It’s a bunch of major leaps forward and we can keep on pushing prices downward from there.”
Meanwhile last month, British Gas sparked a heat pump price war by saying that 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.
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