The UK Government has announced that the £450m Boiler Upgrade Scheme will be used to help it reach its target for all new heating system installations to be low carbon by 2035.

However, families have been assured that they will not be forced to remove their existing fossil fuel boilers.

Why the change?

Ministers have said that switching to low carbon heating will cut emissions and reduce the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels, as well as its exposure to global price spikes in gas. It should also support up to 240,000 jobs across the country by 2035.

The money to implement this scheme will be taken from the more than £3.9 billion which has been allocated to cut carbon from heating and buildings.

The changes are all part of the government’s new green initiative with Prime Minister Boris Johnson commenting: “As we clean up the way we heat our homes over the next decade, we are backing our brilliant innovators to make clean technology like heat pumps as cheap to buy and run as gas boilers – supporting thousands of green jobs.”

Details of the grant

The £5,000 grants will be available from April and will apply to households in England and Wales. It will mean people installing a heat pump will pay a similar amount to those installing traditional gas boilers, according to the government plans.

Now, heat pumps cost an average of £10,000 to install and do not necessarily deliver savings on running costs, despite being much more efficient than gas. This is due to green levies being higher on electricity than on gas.

The government have said that its proposed plans would help people install low-carbon heating systems in a simple, fair, and cheap way, as they replace old gas boilers over the next decade.

They plan to work alongside the industry to make heat pumps the same cost to buy and run as fossil fuel units by 2030.

Is it enough?

Global warming is a hot button issue at the moment, and it seems governments around the world are beginning to take it seriously.

The plan has sufficient money to help homeowners purchase about 30,000 new air source heat pumps a year for three years. This is, sadly, not enough to adequately combat the climate crisis. However, it is considered by many experts to be a good start.

Hopefully, it will help generate the economies to a scale needed to drive down the costs of the devices. This in turn will drive up demand.

Every little helps when it comes to the climate crisis and it is a step in the right direction for the government, although it will no doubt be met with much resistance in the coming months and years.

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