What grants are available for air source heat pumps?

What grants are available for air source heat pumps?
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    Updated February 2024*

    It’s in the government’s best interests to offer renewable energy incentives to homeowners in the UK in order to reach its target of zero carbon emissions by 2050. Not only is this good news for the environment, but it’s also a godsend as far as your energy bills are concerned.

    There are currently two government incentives to help cover the installation cost of an air source heat pump – the ECO and BUS schemes. Both can fund, or partially fund, the cost and installation of renewable energy heating systems, such as air source heat pumps, providing you meet the criteria.

    If you’re wondering if you qualify for financial help towards a heat pump, allow Cinergi to assist you. Read on for our helpful guide on what type of heat pump grants are available to you.

    If you are a homeowner on the South Coast, please get in touch with Cinergi for a personalised quotation on a heat pump, a replacement boiler and other renewable energy solutions such as solar panels.

    HOW DO I GET A FREE AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMP?

    It would be misleading to say that anyone can get a free air source heat pump, but there is help available.

    The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) provides grants of up to £7,500 to incentivise home and small non-domestic property owners to replace fossil fuel heating with low-carbon alternatives, including heat pumps.

    Renewable heating systems commissioned on or after 1 April 2022 may be eligible. The closing date for applications is 31 December 2027. See if you are eligible for a BUS grant here.

    WHY SHOULD I GET AN AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMP?

    The fact you’re reading this hopefully means that you are ready to consider an air pump as an alternative method of heating your home and hot water. But in case you need a bit of extra persuading…

    A heat pump (air or ground) can significantly reduce your home’s carbon footprint and energy bills. The biggest savings are to be had when replacing electric heating systems, but there are also significant savings when replacing old gas, LPG and oil boilers, too. What’s more, heat pumps require minimal maintenance, so you can also cut down on your annual servicing bill.

    To find out how much you could save on your heating bills, see the Energy Saving Trust’s website or get in touch with Cinergi for a home evaluation.

    Click here for more information on air source heat pumps.

    GOVERNMENT GRANTS FOR AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS

    The Green Deal and The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (DRHI) are now closed and have been replaced by the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). 

    BOILER UPGRADE SCHEME (BUS)

    As of October 2023, the BUS provides grants of up to £7,500 to incentivise home and small non-domestic property owners to replace fossil fuel heating with low-carbon alternatives, including air and ground source heat pumps.

    Renewable heating systems commissioned after 1 April 2022 may be eligible. The closing date for applications is 31 December 2027. See if you are eligible for a BUS grant here.

    As certified MCS installers, Cinergi can apply for the BUS on your behalf. We will handle the application process, request a grant voucher from Ofgem and deduct the voucher amount from your quote. 

    THE ENERGY COMPANY OBLIGATION (ECO) SCHEME

    ECO was launched in 2013, and its current iteration, ECO4, runs until March 2026. It is a government-led energy efficiency aimed to reduce emissions and provide financial support to those struggling to heat their homes.

    Under this scheme, the big energy companies are obligated to encourage their customers to move to renewable sources of energy. They must also provide ECO-funded heating upgrades for thousands of energy-inefficient homes.

    WHAT DOES AN ECO GRANT COVER?

    An ECO grant can cover or contribute toward the cost of energy-efficient improvements, such as wall and loft insulation and heating system upgrades. It includes solutions like heat pumps (air and ground), solar PV and first-time central heating systems (FTCH).

    WHO QUALIFIES FOR AN ECO GRANT?

    To qualify, you must fit the criteria:

    1. own your home (or have landlord permission)
    2. live in a home with an energy efficiency rating of E or below (check your home’s EPC rating here)
    3. be in receipt of certain benefits, such as working tax credit (see the full list here)

    Further reading on the ECO scheme

    THE BOILER UPGRADE SCHEME (BUS)

    The BUS scheme is designed to assist homeowners with the costs and installation of renewable energy solutions such as air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

    WHAT DOES A BUS GRANT COVER?

    • Both ground and air source heat pumps may qualify for £7,500 funding
    • Biomass boilers qualify for £5,000 (but this is a bulky and maintenance-heavy alternative with a high upfront cost)

    WHO QUALIFIES FOR A BUS GRANT?

    A full list of eligibility criteria for the scheme can be found here, but typically, homeowners must fulfil the following:

    • The property has a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), i.e. carried out in the past 10 years).
    • The EPC does not contain recommendations for either cavity wall insulation or increased loft insulation (270mm). If it does, the work will need to be carried out before you apply for the BUS voucher. Note that your voucher application can be made prior to the work being done but will not be paid out until a new EPC is completed.
    • The heating required for the property is 45kW or less.
    • The property is owned by a domestic customer (i.e. not owned by a limited company) at the time the installation takes place.

    CONTACT CINERGI FOR ASSISTANCE WITH THE ECO OR BUS GRANT SCHEMES

    Cinergi is a family-run business with 40 years of experience in domestic heating, including all types of boilers and newer, more energy-efficient alternatives like air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.Cinergi is an MCS-accredited installer and participates in both the ECO and BUS schemes. We supply and install heat pumps and other renewable energy solutions to homeowners all over the South Coast. If you live in Hampshire, Dorset or West Sussex and are struggling to get to grips with which government schemes you are eligible for, please get in touch, and we will assist you every step of the way.

    FAQs about grants air source heat pumps

    What is a renewable heating system?

    Renewable heating technologies provide an energy-efficient method of indoor heating and hot water that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels like natural gas or oil. Renewable heating systems use sustainable sources like air, solar and wind to generate heat.

    What is the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI)?

    The Domestic RHI was a government scheme to promote the use of renewable heating systems. It was launched in 2014, but applications for renewable heat incentive payments ended on 31 March 2022.

    How long does an air source heat pump last?

    Heat pumps of today are very different to those that were installed in the early days, i.e. around 10-15 years ago. Some of these original heat pumps are now coming to an age where they require a replacement. However, newer models are far more robust and are designed to last between 20 to 25 years. Most heat pump manufacturers offer full parts and labour guarantees for between 5 and 7 years.

    Should I leave my air source heat pump on all the time?

    The simple answer to this question is yes. The concept being a heat pump is very different to that of a boiler in that they are designed to match the heat loss of your property (or slightly exceed it) when the external ambient air temperature reaches -2°C. This means that the heat pump needs to be left on continuously in order to ensure the home is topped up with heat.

    Read more air source heat pump FAQs here

    In Summary

    The ECO and BUS grant schemes can be used to fund or partially fund the cost and installation of renewable energy heating solutions, such as air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps. Both schemes have a long list of criteria to fulfil. To find out if you qualify, see the Ofgem website. For heat pump installation across the South Coast, please get in touch with the renewable energy experts at Cinergi.

    If you’re interested in air source heat pumps and want to learn more, then check out our guides:

    Picture of Dan Loveridge
    Dan Loveridge

    Dan is the managing director at Cinergi, a renewable energy company based in southern England specialising in air source heat pumps and EV charging solutions.

    Contact us to ask for advice