guide

Air source heat pump grants available for UK households

29 November 2021 | Celia Topping

Thinking about replacing your old boiler with an air source or ground source heat pump?

In this article you’ll find a clear, concise overview of the status of the heat pump grants that are available now, and in the coming year. 

The Renewable Heat Incentive

You might have heard of the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI), which is available for residents of England, Scotland, and Wales.

The UK Government’s DRHI scheme offers quarterly cash payments over 7 years to households that have installed various kinds of low-carbon home heating systems. It’s open to new applicants until March 2022. 

The government-funded scheme aims to encourage homeowners in England, Scotland and Wales to install renewable energy technology, so that the UK can meet its target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. The payments can help offset the cost of installing and running a new heating system.

How do Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments work?

The Renewable Heat Incentive payments are available for various low-carbon heating systems, including air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps

Once your air source heat pump has been installed, you’ll get a quarterly tariff payment for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of renewable energy you produce – for 7 whole years! 

How do I find out if I’m eligible, and apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive? 

The scheme is being run by the UK’s energy regulator, Ofgem, so you can read the full rules and requirements about eligibility on their site.  If you’re eligible, you can apply for the RHI right there on the Ofgem site too. 

To find out more about the Renewable Heat Incentive, and how much you can expect to be paid over 7 years, read our comprehensive guide. 

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme

The most recent government-funded grant to have been announced is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which will replace the Renewable Heat Incentive in April 2022. 

Rather than working on a quarterly payment basis, the new scheme grants householders a sum of money upfront. You could get:

 A budget of £450 million has been set aside by the government for this scheme. It’s been scheduled to run for 3 years, starting in April 20221

Air source heat pump grants for Scotland

If you live in Scotland, there are other ways you could receive government funding to help with home heating improvements.

Warmer Homes Scotland

Over 22,000 households in Scotland have received support from this government-funded scheme since 2015. Although the money available isn’t specifically for air source heat pump installations, 80% of the households helped have received grants over £5,000. This money could go towards installing an air source heat pump if eligible2

Who is eligible for the Warmer Homes Scotland grant?

If you’re living in Scotland on a low income, have a disability, or meet other eligibility criteria, you could apply for the Warmer Homes Scotland grant. It applies to both home-owners and private sector tenants. 

To find out whether you might be eligible, you can either call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 or use their contact form to ask for a call or email back.

How does the Warmer Home Scotland grant work?

Initially, you’ll arrange with Home Energy Scotland to get your home assessed by a Warmworks Scotland surveyor. They will then be able to make recommendations for relevant insulation and heating improvements to your home. This includes renewable energy heating systems like air source heat pumps. 

In most cases, the grant will cover the entire cost of the improvements, but some households may have to apply for an interest-free loan to contribute to the cost. This is supported by Home Energy Scotland and the Energy Saving Trust. Read on to find out more. 

Home Energy Scotland interest-free loan

If you can’t get a grant under the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme, there’s still a chance you could be eligible for an interest-free loan from the Scottish government. 

Who is eligible for the Home Energy Scotland loan?

If you’re a homeowner or are planning to build your own home in Scotland, you can apply for the interest-free Home Energy Scotland Loan. It could be used to help with the cost of an air source heat pump system, or various other energy-efficiency improvements, like insulation. 

How much could I borrow?

If you’re borrowing for a renewable energy system, such as an air source heat pump, it’s good news. You can apply for up to 2 renewable energy systems per home, for up to a total of £17,500. 

For heat pumps specifically, there’s £10,000 up for grabs, of which £2,500 is a loan, and potentially up to £7,500 is cashback. There’s also a £500 incentive for the installation of a heat meter alongside your heat pump. 

Plus, you could get an extra £6,000 towards a home energy storage system

For more details on the Home Energy Scotland interest-free loan and the possibility of cashback, read their guide, or call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282. 

create a warmer home that's cheaper to run

Air source heat pump grants for Wales

The Nest programme is available for those living in Wales, and offers grants to pay for energy-efficiency improvements for eligible homes.

Who is eligible for the Nest home improvements?

To qualify for the Nest energy-efficiency improvements, households must meet all of the following criteria:  

  • Own or privately rent their home
  • Receive a means-tested benefit or have a specific health condition
  • Live in an energy-inefficient property3

 For more information on eligibility for financial support from the Nest scheme, please go to the Nest site give them a call on 0808 808 2244. 

After speaking to one of the expert team at Nest, they’ll send out a surveyor who will assess your home. After this, they’ll be able to let you know if you are eligible for the funds, and discuss your options with you. 

What about the Green Homes Grant?

The government-funded Green Homes Grant has now come to an end, with no new applications being accepted after March 2021. Anyone who had their applications for vouchers under the scheme accepted will still receive any money owed. 

To find out about other government schemes to make your home greener, read our complete guide to heating and energy grants.

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Sources and references

1 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plan-to-drive-down-the-cost-of-clean-heat

2 homeenergyscotland.org/find-funding-grants-and-loans/warmer-homes-scotland/

3 For more info on eligibility please go to https://nest.gov.wales/en/eligibility/

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