HOMEOWNERS could be looking at heat pumps as an alternative source to warm their homes through the winter.
But many people might be unaware of the costs to install, and the help you can get to fund those initial costs. So how much does a heat pump boiler cost exactly?
The upfront cost can be offputting for a lot of households, especially with energy bills rocketing and some Brits forking out up to a quarter more than usual on their energy bills of late.
There are steps households can take to lower their bills in the meantime, but installing a heat pump could have financial benefits in the long run too.
We take a look at those costs as well as what you would be installing into your home.
Heat pumps take the available heat from the ground or air and increase it to a higher temperature using a compressor.
It then transfers the heat to the heating system in your home.
The pump uses electricity to run but it takes less energy than the heat it produces, making it an efficient way to warm your home.
Iain Bevan, commercial manager of heating and renewables at Daikin said: "They operate in a similar way to your fridge, which extracts heat from inside and transfers it outside – that’s why the back of your fridge feels warm.
"For heat pumps to provide home heating, this process is simply reversed; an air source heat pump will extract heat from the air outside your home before transferring it inside, making your home warmer.
"They’re powered mainly by renewable energy, making them one of the most economical and eco-friendly heating solutions available."
With the government's latest pledge to ban gas boilers by 2035, heat pumps are becoming the more attractive alternative, so it could be worth looking into them now to prepare your home.
The only issue is that they are considerably more expensive to install than gas boilers.
In some cases, heat pumps can be as much as £7,000 more to install.
How much does a heat pump cost?
According to Energy Helpline, air sourced pumps tend to be cheaper, with purchase and installation costs anywhere between £8,000 and £14,000.
Ground sourced heat pumps can cost up to 75% more, at £15,000 to £25,000.
But for either, the price will depend on the size and area of your home.
In comparison, the average installation cost of a new boiler in the UK can be between £500 and £1,500, according to Green Match.
They work in a different way too, as a heat pump will maintain a lower lower temperature than a regular boiler, so they have to be run for much longer periods at a time, but this could save you energy in the longer run.
That's the theory behind the government's drive towards heat pumps as least, as it plans to convert Brits to the alternative heating source in its net-zero strategy.
As a result, it also announced that councils will be able to foot the bill for some households looking to install a heat pump - but not until next year.
How can I pay for a heat pump?
Grants of £5,000 could be awarded to eligible homes to cover the dearer costs of installing a heat pump.
But the initial plans to roll out the scheme could mean only 30,000 homes would be able to benefit from the government grant.
The £5,000 grants are due to be available from April next year but we don't know exactly when each council will be able to provide support for everyday households.
But, there are other grants already available now.
Domestic renewable heat incentive scheme
The Domestic RHI is a UK Government financial incentive set up to encourage the use of renewable heat.
Its aim is to cut carbon emissions and help the UK meet its renewable energy targets.
It offers quarterly payments over seven years, according to a set of tariffs based on the type of system installed.
This helps to offset the higher upfront cost of installing a renewable heating system, compared with a typical boiler.
The scheme is available to new applications until March 31 2022.
Metering and Monitoring Service Package
The Metering and Monitoring Service Package involves having a set of heat meters, electricity meters and temperature sensors installed on your heating system.
This checks how well your system is performing, and helps to inform future research on the performance of heat pumps.
You could receive an up-front payment of £805, plus £115 per year for seven years, making a total of £1,610.
Assignment of rights
To significantly reduce the upfront cost of a renewable heating system, there’s an option to choose an assignment of rights.
This option allows an investor to help fund the purchase, installation and maintenance of a renewable heating system.
In return, the rights to any RHI payments are assigned to them.
You only have until March 31 2022 to apply to this one too, but you can get started now.
Is it worth getting a heat pump instead of a gas boiler?
The experts at Daikin explain that a typical air source heat pump is more than three times as efficient as a gas boiler.
A heat pump can be 350% efficient compared to only 90% for a gas boiler.
Iain Bevan said: "Putting 1kW of gas into a boiler gives you 0.9kW of heat, whereas putting 1kW of electricity into an air source heat pump gives you around 3.5kW of heat."
"And, typically powered by 80% air and just 20% electricity, a typical air-to-water heat pump will generate 45% less carbon emissions compared to a gas boiler.
"That's a reduction of up to 43.5 tonnes of carbon emissions per home, over a system’s typical 15-year life span."
Not only this, but the cost savings to be made are significant too.
When you install a heat pump, the experts explained that you could save up to £546 per year compared with an oil boiler and up to £317 compared with a gas boiler, simply by it being more energy efficient.
You will, of course, have to take into account the fact that the government are looking to eradicate gas boilers in roughly 14 years' time, so you may have no choice but to make the switch.
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