Industry welcomes Clean Heat Grant proposals

Industry bodies and renewable heating suppliers have cautiously welcomed the Government’s publication of its consultation on future support for low carbon heat.

Its proposal to make grants of £4,000 available for consumers wishing to replace fossil fuel boilers has drawn particular attention, with its potential to help tackle upfront costs.

The grant would provide support for heat pumps and, in limited circumstances, biomass and would replace the Domestic RHI tariff scheme which is due to close on March 31 2022.

The Clean Heat Grant would support domestic and non-domestic heat pump installations up to a capacity of 45kW, and biomass installations in properties deemed unsuitable for a heat pump.

According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the grant will support the deployment of air source, ground source and water source heat pumps and high and low temperature systems, but hybrid heat pumps will not be included.

Heat Pump Association Chairman Graham Wright said: “Although there is further dialogue to be had during and after the consultation period, particularly on whether the overall levels of funding are sufficient to deliver the required growth, and ensuring that alternative policy support is developed for larger heat pump installations, today’s announcement is a most welcome step in the right direction.”

Phil Hurley, Managing Director of NIBE Energy Systems said: “Decarbonising heat is one of the biggest challenges the UK faces. The publication of the Low Carbon Heat Grant consultation provides some certainty for the sector and will help households make the transition to a renewable low carbon heat source over the coming years.

“The introduction of a grant scheme is something NIBE has been advocating for several years, however I do not feel that the scheme alone is sufficient to drive widespread adoption. It must be combined with a strong regulatory framework and the introduction of measures to encourage wider uptake.”

BEIS says that funding for the Clean Heat Grant will be committed for two years from April 2022 and will be delivered via a voucher system on a first-come first-served basis.

A capping system would also be introduced to mitigate the risk of the fund being depleted more quickly than expected.