Hunt is on for heat pumps

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The government have announced there will be a £5,000 grant available to homeowners who want to switch their old gas boiler for a new air source heat pump. - Credit: Thinkstock/Archant

The director of a Great Yarmouth heating company has said that more and more people are interested in swapping out their old gas boilers for eco-friendly heat pumps.

On October 18, the government announced that as of April 2022, homeowners will qualify for a £5,000 grant to install an air source heat pump in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

Kurt Durrant, director of Eastern Energy , said that people were enquiring, but wanted to know more before committing to switching.

Mr Durrant said: "We've definitely received a lot more enquiries.

"A lot of people have started to take an interest, but they're trying to do the research before they swap over.

"People are used to their gas boilers.

"But the air source heat pumps are not new things - but now it's been in the news, people want to know more.

"People are starting to book in work and wanting to change over. Especially those who want to go green.

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"That is going to be the way forward.

"The air source heat pumps have a lower carbon effect on the environment and the costs - as long as they are set up correctly by qualified people - should be less.

"They're a good design."

WPL 15/25 air source heat pump

An air source heat pump requires only a small amount of space and is the most common choice for domestic properties - Credit: Stiebel Eltron

Heat pumps explained

What is a heat pump?

An air source heat pump looks like an air conditioning unit on the outside of buildings, and it works a bit like a fridge in reverse — using electricity to extract energy from the outside air to provide heating and hot water for homes.

Because they are extracting heat from the environment — which they can do even at low outside temperatures — they produce around three times the energy they use, making them much more efficient than a gas boiler.

How much are they?

While costs vary, installing a new system will cost around £10,000 on average.

The grants aim to make heat pumps a similar cost to boilers, although how much of the installation costs for the low carbon technology will be covered by the funding will vary.

Do you save money from running one?

While there are some "time of use" tariffs, which allow people to use the electricity for running their heat pumps when it is off peak and therefore cheaper, most people will not be saving money at the moment.

That is because, although heat pumps use much less energy to create the same amount of heating, electricity is around three times the price of gas.

Will I have to rip out my old boiler for one of these new technologies?

The government has set an ambition for all new heating systems to be low carbon from 2035, but says families will not have to remove their existing fossil fuel boilers.

There With You This Winter

There With You This Winter - Credit: Archant

Our There With You This Winter campaign provides information and signpost organisations people can turn to if they are struggling with their energy bills.