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Will landlords take up £5,000 heat pumps grant?

A question mark has been raised over the suitability of a scheme starting next month to encourage the switch from gas boilers to carbon-neutral heat pumps.

£5,000 is being offered to existing homeowners to encourage the switch, as part of the government's target for all new heating system installations to be low carbon by 2035.

Switching to low carbon heating in the coming years will cut emissions, and reduce the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels and exposure to global price spikes in gas, ministers say, as well as supporting up to 240,000 jobs across the UK in the next decade. 


But specialist mortgage lender Together has questioned whether the grants are enough, as replacing the gas boiler and other insulation can cost up to £18,000 with highest charges falling predominantly on owners of pre-1900 or listed properties.

Together data shows that only one in five want to install a heat pump anyway, and the lender’s distribution director Scott Clay says:“With April just around the corner the grant, though small, will be welcomed at a time when households are facing rising energy amid the cost of living crisis.

“However, many will still have a hefty set of expenses on their hands as the cost of retrofitting older homes and installing insulation is largely underestimated.”

His company’s survey shows that the average pre-1900 homeowner would only be willing to spend £5,480 to implement enough eco-changes to make a difference.


Clay adds: “It is important that homeowners have a clear understanding of their home’s energy efficiency rating now and start deciding how they can implement eco-changes over time that work within their budget.”

Other data from the lender shows that 30 per cent of owners are willing to decrease their electric and energy usage, 28 per cent would consider implementing loft insulation and 27 per cent would investigate draught proofing windows and doors to better insulate homes.

Meanwhile a quarter would opt for secondary or double-glazing windows and panels, or even the installation of solar panels.

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    Simple answer - No.


    I agree.

    Why saddle good tenants with inefficient expensive heat pumps when efficient reliable cost effective gas boilers can still be legally installed for much less cost?

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    Carbon neutral? A bit of a stretch I think. A recent NRLA webinar featured input from a local council that appeared to be pushing the idea of conversion to air source heat pumps (ASHP), apparently they are running tests on one of these systems from April to September! Why not September to April which would really test the system. ASHP systems will never work satisfactorily in old properties and will have to run 24/7 to produce any kind of barely acceptable results.

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    I guess if it’s the only way of achieving an EPC level of C I might consider it as long as I felt it was also enhancing the value of the property and gets me more rent , which it might do as the focus on good EPC’s increases. Otherwise absolutely not

    John  Adams

    Very misguided if you believe people will rent on the basis of the EPC. A property using an All electric system will be eyewateringly expensive compared to one still using Gas but with a poorer EPC. Until the regulations are actually finalised any work could be a complete waste of money. A bad policy is simply going to make rents far higher and choice restricted as Landlords leave


    It wont as the EPC is based on cost and electricity has the highest unit rate so unless they change how they generate the ratings on the EPC it wont.

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    The UK going carbon friendly will not help us or the planet while China, the US and other developing countries constantly pump millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. This is like river pollution; you dont dump anything in river but your neighbours use it as a dumping ground. The result is dirty river....
    This exercise is only a gimmick to create new jobs or business so that they can be taxed.

  • John  Adams

    If these policies reduced Energy usage and provided proper heating without major upheaval then maybe, but heat pumps are going to be of no use in the back2backs of Barnsley and Sheffield. The cost of heating is going crucify tenants. Then we have the ridiculous situation where we are still building new houses that are not Carbon Neutral, no heat pumps, no triple glazing, no rain water harvesting, why? These should be enshrined in law for new builds before we worry about combi boilers.

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    This is all a giant scam. A quick online search suggests domestic heating accounts for roughly 17% of carbon emissions. It is claimed, that heat pumps can reduce these emissions by UPTO (not average) 20%. I couldn’t find the assessment of the average reduction but I’m guessing for those with modern efficient boilers, the difference could be less than 10% and yet the costs of this tech is eye watering. Even with government grants, that doesn’t make it cheaper, it just means more tax to pay. So you could spend billions changing the nations boilers for a 1 or.’2 percent drop in emissions overall (and maybe less than that).

    EDF website gives an indication of savings (£2700 over 10 years) but assumes you have a none combi boiler, with a life of 10 years (they last longer than this) and suggests the heat pump would last 20 years. Their assessment assumes you spent more than £3000 installing you boiler. And so it goes on. All the examples I find of companies trying to sell heat pumps are full of worst case scenario assumptions for what you currently have, and then compare to best case scenarios for the heat pumps. And even then they only show a very modest improvement.

    While I’ve heard these heat pumps can and do work well, especially on new properties that have been designed with this tech in mind, there are plenty of installers out there who will tell you they have been fitting heat pumps and the customers have been disappointed with the results. Ending up with properties they just can’t get warm in the winter.

    The evidence just doesn’t support the assertion that heat pumps are the future - if you’re going to replace the boiler it needs to be a more significant improvement in emissions, with a similar installation cost and an equivalent performance. The heat pumps do not satisfy any of these criteria.

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    Let me think…. It’s a no from me. If this EPC C comes in then there are two sets of tenants at the local authorities door looking for homes, I am not spending that much money when I am due to retire soon, they will all be sold. The whole lot of “them” will ruin the PRS…… and then blame us for selling !

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    Steve, he makes a number of valid points, they do give false comparisons. A good quality Combi used easy last 20 years before Condensing was forced in still get 10 /12 years unless cheap makes maybe 5 before condensing pipe leaks into flue or condensing trap gives up, when that starts time to change too dangerous and call out too expensive. EDF have notified me my gas Bill is going up extra £2’300. don’t know how much extra for leci.

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    Heat pumps are a total waste of time , effort and money, I most certainty will not be fitting them, grant or no grant

  • Matthew Payne

    Definate no, heat pumps are not the way forward in the UK. Too expensive, too big, hard to retro fit, and cant cope with cold winters when there is no heat to be had. The more I read, the more I think hydrogen boilers look like the most like for like replacement in this next phase of our decarbonisation.

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    How does it work when you integrate one with with solar panels?


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