Heating our homes and hot water accounts for over half of a typical household’s energy bills, according to Energy Saving Trust (EST). So switching to a more energy-efficient boiler, or to an altogether greener alternative, should help reduce your energy bill.
Air source heat pumps, which capture heat from the air outside and use it in your central heating system and to heat your hot water, are being touted as the next big thing in making our homes more energy efficient. And installing one could add 10% to the value of your home when it’s time to sell**. WHAT YOU’LL PAY It costs around £4,000 to replace a gas boiler with a more energy-efficient one. Homeowners in Northern Ireland may be eligible for a grant to put towards the cost of replacing an older boiler with a more energy-efficient one through the Boiler Replacement Scheme (nidirect.gov.uk/ articles/grant-replace-your-boiler).
Air source heat pumps are much pricier: around £7,000-£13,000
(more if you need to tweak your hot water or central heating system to accommodate one).
However, you may be eligible for a grant of up to £5,000 through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (gov.uk/apply-boiler-upgrade-scheme) in England and Wales. If you live in Scotland, a grant or loan from Home Energy Scotland( home energy scotland. org/ funding/ grants-loans/ overview) could help cover the cost of this and other green home improvements. WHAT YOU’LL SAVE If you live in a semi-detached house and replace an existing G-rated gas boiler (the lowest energy-efficiency rating) with a new condensing A-rated one, you could slash up to £540 a year off your energy bills. If you replaced the same G-rated gas boiler with an air source heat pump, you’d be looking at a yearly saving of £590 (or £1,500 in Northern Ireland).