What is an air source heat pump?

An air source heat pump is an innovative system that extracts heat from the outside air in order to heat your home and provide hot water.

It operates even when the temperature is as low as -15°C. The principle of operation is fairly straightforward: the system absorbs heat from the air and compresses it, increasing its temperature, which is then used to heat your home.

The beauty of this system lies in its efficiency — it produces more energy as heat than it consumes in electricity, significantly reducing your carbon footprint and saving you substantial amounts on your energy bills.

These heat pumps are a particularly effective solution in Wales, where the climate is usually mild, thereby allowing the heat pump to operate at optimal efficiency.

Are there air source heat pump grants?

Despite the many benefits of air source heat pumps, there is no avoiding their substantial cost.

The average cost of an air source heat pump is £14,000, however, these costs have been known to fluctuate anywhere between £3,000 and £30,000.

So, is there a way to lower this initial cost and start benefitting from reduced energy bills and a lower carbon footprint?

Fortunately, yes! There are three leading heat pump grants in Wales that you can access if you meet the eligibility criteria:

1) Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme is a fundamental initiative launched by the UK government.

Currently in its fourth phase, ECO4, the scheme obligates larger energy companies to provide support and assistance to households that may struggle with energy efficiency. This includes the installation of an air source heat pump.

Eligible homes—typically those with a lower income or those receiving certain types of government benefits—can benefit from the ECO scheme.

Homeowners or tenants can apply through their energy provider or a local authority, who will then assess the property and determine whether an air source heat pump can be installed.

Not only does this scheme drastically reduce the initial cost of installation, but it also facilitates lower energy bills and a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

Who is eligible for the ECO Scheme?

Eligibility for the ECO Scheme in Wales is primarily determined by a low household income, the type of benefit received, and the energy-efficiency needs of the property.

In general, you may be eligible if you receive at least one of the following benefits: Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-Related Employment Support Allowance or Disability Living Allowance.

However, eligibility can somewhat be dependent on individual circumstances, especially with ECO4 Flex, so it is strongly advised to consult with your energy provider or local authority to get the most accurate eligibility assessment for the ECO4 scheme.

It’s important to note that what you can receive through the scheme can vary, depending on the energy efficiency of your property.

For example, implementing quality insulation will be a key priority above installing an air source heat pump as it provides more immediate energy efficiency.

How to apply for the ECO Scheme

Applying for the ECO Scheme in Wales is a streamlined process.

Begin by contacting a registered provider, such as So Eco, to express your interest in the scheme.

We will guide you through the application process, which may involve completing forms that detail your personal circumstances and the energy efficiency needs of your household.

Once the application is submitted, an assessment of your property will be conducted to evaluate its suitability for an air source heat pump installation.

2) Nest Scheme

The Nest Scheme is another laudable initiative by the Welsh Government aimed to facilitate residents in improving energy efficiency in their homes.

This scheme is exclusive to Wales and primarily focuses on households that are in fuel poverty, providing them with free energy-saving home improvements like the installation of an air source heat pump if suitable.

The Nest scheme assesses the needs of the eligible applicants and provides the most suitable solutions for their homes, ensuring that they can effectively lower their energy bills while also reducing their carbon footprint.

Who is eligible for the Nest Scheme?

Eligibility for the Nest Scheme is determined based on several key criteria.

Principally, the scheme is targeted towards energy-inefficient households receiving means-tested benefits. This can include benefits such as income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Universal Credit.

Furthermore, the household must be privately rented or owner-occupied, and the applicant must have the owner’s permission for home improvements. This means applicants cannot be living in a property owned by a housing association or local authority.

It’s important to note that eligibility may vary based on individual circumstances, so it’s advisable to consult with the Nest Scheme directly for the most accurate eligibility assessment.

How to apply for the Nest Scheme

Applying for the Nest Scheme in Wales is designed to be straightforward and user-friendly.

To kick start the process, you need to contact the Nest Scheme directly via their hotline or website.

They will guide you through the initial application, which typically involves providing details about your personal circumstances, your household income and your current energy setup.

After the application is submitted, an advisor from the Nest Scheme will conduct a home assessment to evaluate its suitability for an air source heat pump installation.

If your property is deemed suitable and you meet the eligibility requirements, the Nest Scheme will proceed with installing an air source heat pump at no cost to yourself.

This not only facilitates energy efficiency but also focuses on alleviating fuel poverty in Wales.

3) Boiler Upgrade Scheme

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a noteworthy initiative by the UK government that can significantly impact eligible households’ energy efficiency. However, the scheme will only run until 2025.

Primarily aimed at homes with outdated or inefficient boilers, the scheme provides an opportunity to upgrade to a modern, energy-efficient air source heat pump.

This upgrade not only ensures better energy efficiency, reducing household energy bills over time, but also aligns with national efforts to reduce carbon emissions, contributing to a more sustainable future for Wales.

Who is eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

Eligibility for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is primarily based on whether you own the property you live in, the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of the property and the insulation capacity of your home.

This scheme is only available to homes in England and Wales with an insulation capacity of 45kWth, which will cover most homes.

Additionally, the property’s EPC rating must be valid and have no outstanding recommendations for insulation.

How to apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme

Applying for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a straightforward process, designed to be user-friendly and hassle-free. Initiating the process involves contacting an MCS-certified installer, such as So Eco.

From here, we will advise you on whether your property is eligible for a government grant and provide a quote for the upgrade that will be deducted from the final amount you pay for the discounted upgrade.

A member of the installer’s team will then apply for the grant on your behalf, but you will need to confirm to Ofgem that the installer is acting on your behalf.

Secure a heat pump grant in Wales

Thank you for reading our guide on the air source heat pump grants available in Wales. We hope you found one that fits your needs.

If you’re looking for other discounted, energy-efficient home upgrades, there are many grants available to help Welsh households become more energy-efficient, such as insulation grants in Wales and grants for solar panels in Wales.

We understand how daunting the grant application process may feel, which is why at So Eco our team of experts are here to guide you through it every step of the way.

We provide a comprehensive assessment of your property’s energy efficiency requirements and an analysis of the grants available so that you can make an informed decision about the best energy solution for your home.

To find out more, contact us today! We’re here to help you make the most of available grants and pursue a sustainable, energy-efficient future for Wales. Alternatively,  complete our free online eligibility checker to see what you could be eligible for.

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