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Government removes BUS grant criteria – a blow for the Heat Pump Industry

At PBT we really believe in heat pumps. We believe in heat pumps because we have worked with them for over ten years. We have witnessed their popularity and success in colder climates such as Scandinavia, where they have been established technology for around 40 years. We know they work, we know they are efficient and we know they reduce carbon emissions and household bills.
There are certain aspects of heat pump installations, however, that are common sense. Unfortunately, with this being a fairly ‘new’ technology in the UK, these areas of common sense can get overlooked, and this results in bad press, such as heat pumps being noisy, unable to keep you warm in colder temperatures, and not being as efficient as advertised.All of these issues above can be easily addressed by getting a decent brand of heat pump put in by experienced installers, in insulated houses.

And this is where, in our opinion, the UK government has dealt our industry a massive blow.As part of their UK climate change targets, the government aims to be installing 600,000 heat pumps annually by 2028. To do this, they are campaigning to draw attention to the ‘new’ technology, and have launched the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). Under this, most homeowners can claim £7500 back towards the cost of installing a heat pump, when replacing carbon based heating such as a gas or oil boiler.
However, yesterday, this same government who is working to decarbonise home heating removed the mandatory requirement for insulation in homes applying for the BUS grant.


This is madness! Regardless of the technology used to heat homes, the first thing any homeowner should do to reduce their heating usage, and therefore their carbon footprint and energy bills, is insulate their home as much as possible. Without adequate insulation, you are heating a constant supply of cold air coming into your property, and then sending it happily back outside again, And paying for the process.
If you then remove the requirement for insulation for those people installing a heat pump through the BUS grant, not only are the government failing to push an easy fix for so much heat loss, they are setting up heat pumps to fail and thus adding fuel to the technology’s bad press.
People accessing the BUS grant are mainly first-time heat pump owners and their experience is paramount to the popularity of the technology and its move to mainstream heating in the UK. By encouraging an influx of heat pump installations through cost and corner cutting, the government might manage to raise the number of heat pump installations, but in so doing is jeopardising the reputation of the very technology at the heart of their climate change targets. 

At PBT, we would urge any homeowner taking advantage of the BUS grant to insulate their property as much as they can, regardless of whether it is a written requirement, and are fairly sure that any reputable installer would urge their customers likewise.
NB any homeowner wishing to take advantage of the BUS grant, must have their heat pump installed by a registered MCS approved installer.