Air Source Heat Pump Grants and Who Can Get One?

James Elston
Written by James Elston
Updated on 16th November 2023
Posted on 15th November 2023
Topic: heat pumps
Air Source Heat Pump Grants and Who Can Get One

How to get an air source heat pump grant and who can get one

air source heat pump grants

Air heat pumps can easily be installed and maintained, and are an eco-friendly way to supply your house with warmth throughout the year and recently in Britain, heat pumps, along with hydrogen-ready boilers are considered to be a vital part of the nation’s decarbonisation process, as we slowly move away from gas boiler heating systems.

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Heat pumps are compact, use minimal electricity, and can save you a lot of money in energy bills once fitted – the only drawback is the upfront installation cost, therefore to counter this, the government has introduced several government grants to help homeowners afford them.

So if you’ve been considering renewing your heating system, it’s time to learn a bit more about air source heat pumps.

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    What are air source heat pumps grants for?

    air source heat pump grant money bag

    An air-source heat pump is positioned outside a house and uses a fan to extract energy from the outside air. This energy warms a refrigerant that boils at a low temperature. This is not to be confused with ground source heat pumps, which take geothermal energy from the earth.

    The liquid in the refrigerant is then pushed through a compressor which heats it further, normally up to a temperature of about 60 degrees.

    This water is then sent to your radiators and underfloor heating system, while the excess liquid is sent to your hot water cylinder.

    Why do we need air source heat pumps?

    Basically, to make our homes more sustainable in the future. So, not only do we require green boilers to be fitted, such as hydrogen boilers, electric boilers, and biomass boilers, but we also need renewable energy technology, such as heat pumps and solar panels, to cover our energy needs in an environmentally-conscious way.

    Be aware though, that heat pumps do not have anywhere close to the heating power of the best combi boilers, so a huge overhaul of your heating system and insulation may be required too.

    What are air source heat pump grants designed for?

    air source heat pump grant calculator

    Air source heat pump grants under the domestic renewable heat incentive scheme (RHI) are designed to help encourage households to invest in renewable energy technology.

    On average, an air source heat pump costs between £7,000 and £13,000. And despite the energy bill saving potential of heat pumps, some may be unwilling to pay this upfront cost.

    That’s why such heat pump grants as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and the Renewable Heat Incentive were introduced – to incentivise as many households as possible to invest in a heat pump instead of a new boiler.

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    Air source heat pump grants in the UK

    Several air heat pump grants are available, each of which targets a different area of the U.K. For example, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is offered to those living in England and Wales, whereas Warmer Homes Scotland is aimed exclusively at those north of the border.

    Considering a heat pump grant? Check out our best heat pump brand guide to help you decide on which you should choose. This includes heat pumps from top brands such as Vaillant aroTHERM heat pumps and Daikin heat pumps.

    energy efficient boiler

    Boiler Upgrade Scheme

    Formally known as the Clean Heat Grant, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a £450 million government grant aimed at all who still rely on old gas boilers to heat their homes. The goal is to completely renovate the heating system of homes, through the installation of both heating pumps and green boilers like hydrogen-ready boilers.

    This scheme began in spring 2022 and took over from the Renewable Heat Incentive.

    What do you get?

    This scheme offers households £5,000, which can be used on either an air source heat pump or ground source heat pump, or a biomass boiler. This would make the cost of some pumps as low as £2,000!

    Alternatively, grants of up to £6,000 can be awarded to those who would prefer to invest in a ground source heat pump. This may seem a lot, especially when a hydrogen-ready new boiler cost as little as £1,800 and is much better for keeping homes warm.

    Who’s eligible?

    This grant is available for both home and small business owners in both England and Wales. The property is required to have been issued an energy performance certificate (EPC) within the last decade.

    This scheme will be limited to 90,000 homes, and installations will be carried out over the next 3 years. It will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you’re interested, it’s best to sign up soon.

    Nest Wales

    air source heat pump grants wales

    Devised by the Welsh government, Nest Wales aims to primarily help Welsh citizens keep on top of energy bill payments by introducing energy efficiency improvements.

    Not only does Nest Wales offer advice, but they can also provide your home with several new household heating appliances, from a heat pump system to external wall insulation.

    What do you get?

    If you meet the eligibility criteria, you could be awarded a free energy efficiency package, which may contain any of the following:

    • A green boiler
    • A green central heating system
    • Internal wall insulation
    • External wall insulation
    • Cavity wall insulation
    • Loft insulation
    • Water tank and pipe insulation
    • Room thermostats and heating controls
    • A ground source heat pump
    • Air source heat pump
    • Draught proofing
    cash symbol

    Who’s eligible?

    To qualify for support from Nest Wales, you need to meet all 3 of the scheme’s main conditions. The main criteria are as follows:

    • You either own or rent the property you live in. That means it cannot be a property provided by a housing association or a local authority.
    • Your house is currently difficult to heat due to it being energy inefficient.
    • You or another occupant of the house suffers from a circulatory, chronic respiratory, or mental health condition, or receives a means-tested benefit.

    The qualifying means-tested benefits are:

    • Council Tax Reduction
    • Income Support
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Child Tax Credit (income below £16,105 per year)
    • Universal Credit
    • Pension Credit
    • Working Tax Credit (income below £16,105 per year)
    • Housing Benefit

    Anyone in Wales who feels they meet the above criteria can apply through Nest’s helpline. By providing details about your home, the Nest team will be able to determine your eligibility.

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    Warmer Homes Scotland

    air source heat pump grants scotland

    Like Nest Wales, Warmer Homes Scotland is aimed at low-income households who face difficulty keeping their house warm.

    This Scottish Government-funded scheme is offered to both homeowners as well as private sector tenants. It focuses on providing eligible homes with insulation and new, eco-friendly heating systems.

    What do you get?

    Warmer Homes Scotland offers several central heating upgrades to eligible applicants, which includes the following:

    • Eco-friendly boiler alternatives
    • Micro-renewable and renewable heating systems (Such as heat pumps)
    • Loft insulation
    • Wall insulation
    • Draught-proofing

    If your appeal to Warmer Homes Scotland is approved, your heating requirements will be passed on to Warmworks Scotland, which will organise your heating upgrades.

    Who’s eligible?

    To find out if you can benefit from the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme, homeowners and private sector tenants can contact Home Energy Scotland to explain their home heating situation. Home Energy Scotland will then survey your home to determine whether you are eligible for a Home Energy Scotland loan.

    To be eligible for a Warmer Homes Scotland heat pump grant, the house must meet the following criteria:

    • The house meets the House (Scotland) Act 2006.
    • The house has an energy rating of 67 or below.
    • The size of the house is below 230 square metres.
    • You have lived in this house for longer than a year.
    • You are the homeowner or tenant of a private sector landlord of the property.
    • The house you is your main residence.
    • You have not received support from Warmer Homes Scotland within the last 5 years.

    Applicants must also be one of the following:

    • Aged over 75 and in receipt of a passport benefit.
    • An old aged pensioner (O.A.P.) with no working heating system, who receives a passport benefit.
    • Someone who has a disability, who receives either a Personal Independent Payment (PIP) or a high rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
    • A disabled person who receives both a low/medium Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as well as an income-related benefit.
    • A carer who receives a Carers Allowance.
    • An individual who sustained a disability or injury while working and, as a result, receives Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
    • An individual who sustained a disability or injury while serving in the armed forces and, as a result, receives War Disablement Pension or Armed Forces Independence Payment.

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    Benefits of getting a grant for an air source heat pump

    There are several benefits of getting a grant for an air source heat pump, such as:

    air source heat pump faqs
    • Heat pumps save you money on heating bills in the long term, with the potential of saving of £1,300 per year.
    • It makes heating your home more affordable.
    • It makes your house greener by producing fewer carbon emissions.
    • It can be used for both water and central heating.
    • Heat pumps are low maintenance.
    • Gas boiler ban 2025


    How do I qualify for a free heat pump?

    To qualify for a free heat pump, you are required to meet the criteria set out by the heat pump grant you are applying for. For example, to qualify for Warmer Homes Scotland, households need to have an energy rating of 67 or below and be below 230 square metres in size, amongst other criteria.

    Are there grants available for ground source heat pumps?

    It is possible to get a ground source heat pump through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. Approved applicants can accept grants of up to £6,000 to invest in a ground source heat pump. If you think this sounds a bit much, check out our heat pump or boiler guide for more information to see which is best.

    Can I get a heat pump grant for my business premises?

    Small business owners may apply for a heat pump grant through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

    Is a air source heat pump better than a boiler?

    At the moment, air source heat pumps cost less to run, but the initial costs are significantly higher. 20% Hydrogen ready boilers that could run on 100% hydrogen in the future would be a better option, but hydrogen gas is currently expensive to harness. Logically though, hydrogen ready boilers are the nationwide solution if hydrogen can be made cheaper.

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    Written by
    James Elston
    James Elston Director Of Boiler Central
    Posted on: 15th November 2023
    Topic: heat pumps

    James Elston is our resident boiler replacement and heating expert here at Boiler Central. With over 20 years experience in the boiler installation industry, James ensures that he knows everything there is about our Gas Safe boiler installations, energy saving and home heating solutions. This can be from simply procuring the latest best combi boilers, to reviewing and ensuring that Boiler Central maintains the highest standards across our boiler installation company.

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