Heat pumps are an environmentally friendly alternative to gas boilers as a way to heat homes and buildings.
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.
Ministers have said the grant will make heat pumps cost a similar amount to gas boilers. They also hope no new gas boilers will be sold after 2035.
How to apply for the heat pump grant
The Government is yet to announce precise details of how to apply for the grant, which will be available to homeowners in England and Wales from next April.
Currently an air source heat pump costs between £6,000 and £18,000, depending on the type of the pump and the size of a property.
The Government will encourage everyone whose boiler needs replacing to switch over to heat pumps, with £5,000 given to each household that chooses to. There will be no requirement for people with working boilers to make the switch.
Why does the grant exist?
The grant forms part of a wider £3.9 billion plan to reduce heating-based carbon emissions.
Heating buildings is responsible for around a fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “As the technology improves and costs plummet over the next decade, we expect low-carbon heating systems will become the obvious, affordable choice for consumers.
“Through our new grant scheme, we will ensure people are able to choose a more efficient alternative in the meantime.”
Boris Johnson added: “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.
“Our new grants will help homeowners make the switch sooner, without costing them extra, so that going green is the better choice when their boiler needs an upgrade.”
However, green experts have criticised the plan for not going far enough. Mike Childs, head of science at Friends of the Earth, told BBC News: “Investment will drive down the cost of heat pumps, and technical innovation plus skills training is a part of this, but so is scale. These grants will only incentivise the best-off households.”Internet Explorer Channel Network