The number of new applications to the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme in the first week since the grant uplift reached 1,150 – more than three times higher than the average weekly rate prior to the change. In the subsequent three weeks, new applications have remained nearly 60% higher than the previous weekly average.  

The scheme, which is available in England and Wales, provides financial support for householders to switch from fossil fuel heating systems to a heat pump.

Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said: “Today’s new figures show our pragmatic approach to net-zero is working. In the first week after our 50% increase to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, applications tripled.

“We are supporting hardworking families who want to make the switch and replace their boiler in a way that’s within their budgets.”

The results come alongside new independent research published today confirming heat pumps are generally rated as quiet, with a majority of those surveyed saying they did not notice the sound.  

The review found complaints from neighbours are rare – with people far more likely to hear the noise of traffic and dogs barking, over of the sound of nearby heat pumps.  

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “This fantastic increase in applications through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme demonstrates not only the desire for heat pumps in this country, but also that our approach to reach net-zero works. 

“We want more families to enjoy the more stable bills and cleaner heating that heat pumps have to offer – and today’s evidence that heat pumps make minimal noise is yet another reason to make the switch.” 

Today’s report examining the sound coming from heat pumps follows significant advances to reduce noise levels. The report concludes that heat pumps are now very quiet – with sound levels similar to a gas boiler or fridge. 

Extensive research was carried out for the independent study by acoustic experts – who reviewed existing data and conducted interviews with households, installers, manufacturers, industry bodies, as well as local authority planning officers.  

Currently some households need to seek full planning permission to install a heat pump. However, the report recommends a change in planning rules to make it easier for households to install heat pumps under permitted development rights – while also strengthening heat pump noise assessments conducted by installers to continue protecting the public from noise pollution.  

The government announced, in last week’s Autumn Statement, that it will consult on introducing new permitted development rights to end the blanket restriction on heat pumps one metre from a property boundary in England.