“I consulted a heat pump specialist who said the cost of installing a suitable heat pump and replacing all radiators was close to £30,000. My house was built in 1976, it is detached, it has cavity wall insulation and double glazing. It is very well insulated. “
Mr York said the specialist had told him there were several rooms in his house that could not accommodate radiators large enough to achieve the same heat output as his gas boiler. “Prices have come down and it would cost around £20,000 now, but I didn’t want to spend that when I could only afford £2,400 for a new gas boiler.”
Andy Kerr from Boxt, a gas boiler retailer, said: “Most homes with a heat pump installation will need to replace at least one radiator.
“Heat pumps also need a water storage tank, which many homes no longer have due to the popularity of combi boilers. It is a complex installation and usually the entire central heating system has to be replaced.”
The government is offering grants of up to £5,000 to replace a gas boiler with a low-carbon alternative. The £450 million scheme is expected to cover around 90,000 installations over three years.
The National Infrastructure Commission, which advises the government, said it was exploring ways to fund the transition and encourage the use of heat pumps. A spokesperson added: “There are still big questions to be answered, including what level of insulation is needed for heat pumps to run efficiently, whether hydrogen will be available for heating and how to make these major changes in people’s homes.”
A BEIS spokesperson said: “Gas boilers are expensive to run while electric heat pumps are more efficient. Anyone who chooses to install a heat pump can claim a grant of up to £5,000 and will also benefit from 0 pc VAT.
“We are working with industry to cut the cost of heat pumps by up to half by 2025 as technology develops, ultimately making them the most affordable and sensible option.”