Homeowners in England and Wales will be offered subsidies of £5,000 from next April to help them to replace old gas boilers with low-carbon heat pumps.

The grants for 90,000 pumps are part of a £3.9bn government plan to cut carbon emissions from heating buildings.

It is hoped no new gas boilers will be sold after 2035. The funding also aims to make social housing and public buildings more energy-efficient.

But experts say the budget is too low and the strategy not ambitious enough.

Ministers say the subsidies will make heat pumps a comparable price to a new gas boiler. However, the £450m being allocated for the subsidies over three years will cover a maximum of 90,000 pumps.

It is estimated that up to 25 million homes in the UK are heated by gas boilers.

Experts also point to the need for costly new insulation and other home improvements to help households get the best out of the switch.

Mike Childs, head of science at Friends of the Earth, said the number of heat pumps that the grants would cover "just isn't very much" and meant the UK would not meet its aim of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028.

"These grants will only incentivise the best-off households," he said.

Greenpeace UK's climate campaigner, Caroline Jones, said the government needed to provide more money to speed up the switch.

"A clearer signal would have been a phase-out of new boilers before 2035," she said.

Jonny Marshall, senior economist the Resolution Foundation, a think tank focusing on poverty, said the UK would struggle to meet its goal of cutting emissions from homes in half by 2035.

The UK has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

But a group of experts that advises the government says Boris Johnson's government has credible policies in place to deliver only about a fifth of this cut.