More than £14m is being made available to accelerate the installation of heat pumps and heat networks across the country, as a new scheme launches to train thousands of installers.
Over £9.7 million will go towards four projects based across the country, from Bristol to Cambridgeshire - helping cut costs of these low carbon technologies, and reducing disruption to consumers by coordinating the wide-spread rollout in concentrated areas.
To propel the move to cleaner energy in homes, a new £5 million Heat Training Grant will support 10,000 trainees over the next two years to become low carbon heating experts – creating new green jobs and growing our economy in flourishing green industries. Grants of up to £500 will go towards training with heating manufacturers such as Panasonic, Valliant and Worcester-Bosch expected to offer additional discounts to participating trainees.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, Lord Callanan, said: “This funding will give the rollout of heat pumps a huge boost by making them cheaper and easier to install, and importantly helping more households move away from costly fossil fuels.
“But we need a skilled workforce to deliver this, so we’re training thousands of people to be experts at installing heat pumps and heat networks, driving the country’s push towards net zero.
“We’re also making sure the cost of installing a heat pump is more affordable than ever before through grants of up to £6,000 through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and a zero rate on VAT. So, it’s right we also put funding in place to train installers to meet demand.”
Heat pumps are highly efficient and reliable and are key to cutting carbon emissions using cheaper renewable energy produced here in the UK.
The government’s £60 million Heat Pump Ready programme aims to develop innovative solutions to reducing barriers to the rollout of low carbon technology in homes and businesses across the UK.
The four Heat Pump Ready projects, two in Oxfordshire and one each in Bristol and Cambridgeshire have been successful in the second phase of funding.
The innovation programme runs alongside the government's £450m Boiler Upgrade Scheme, that provides up to £6,000 grants to homeowners towards the cost of a heat pump, and a zero rate of VAT, making clean heating measures even more affordable for people looking to replace gas or oil boilers in their property.
Work on installing heat pumps purchased through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will begin in the successful projects from late December this year. The Government expects heat pump deployment to reach 600,000 per year in 2028, a tenfold increase from 2021.
To meet demand, the Heat Training Grant will provide heating engineers with grants of up to £500 towards training.
The grant could cover most of the cost of a level 3 heat pump course, which takes one week or less for an experienced gas or oil heating installer to complete. In addition, heating manufacturers including Baxi, NIBE, Panasonic, Vaillant, Ideal Heating and Worcester-Bosch are expected to offer additional discounts and offers to participating trainees. These benefits could be worth up to a further £500 in product vouchers, additional training and other support, helping trainees put their new skills into practice.
Karen Boswell, Managing Director UK and Ireland at heating manufacturer Baxi, said: “We welcome the Government’s investment in developing the new skills needed to support the growth of low-carbon heating solutions in homes and buildings.
“We are fully committed to helping the industry transition to net zero, and we’re focused on helping individuals access opportunities to participate in the anticipated growth of air source heat pumps.”
Shaun Edwards, CEO Groupe Atlantic UK, ROI and North America Divisions, said: “At Ideal Heating we believe installers will play a critical role in the decarbonisation of heating and we welcome further Government funding targeted at heat pump training. Our Ideal Heating Expert Academy has also committed to providing additional subsidised training for installers participating in the Government scheme.
“This financial support, together with the forthcoming opening of our state-of the-art National Training and Technology Centre, will make the upskilling of the sector to install and maintain heat pumps as affordable and accessible as possible, to support the drive to net zero.”
Carl Arntzen, CEO of Worcester-Bosch said: “We are delighted to see the announcement by Government of the funding for installers to become qualified to install heat pumps. There is great interest in future technologies and with this funding installers can gain the confidence and skills to offer heat pumps to their customers.”
The latest support comes in addition to the £15 million Government has already committed to developing skills in the energy efficiency and low carbon heating sectors since 2020.
The Government already funds heat pump training through the Home Decarbonisation Skills Competition, however the new funding will now extend support for heat pumps until at least 2025, and also goes further by including training for heat networks.
The heat networks training courses will cover the full lifecycle of the systems from initial design to building, operation, and maintenance. Government is also aiming to develop a series of courses and online training videos for heat networks operation and maintenance.
By providing heat networks training support alongside heat pumps, areas of overlap and collaboration can be better explored, particularly around the installation of large-scale heat pumps for heat networks and shared ground loops.
Government is now seeking expressions of interest from training providers who wish to offer the new grants for heat pump training.
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