Boilers can be a pretty expensive investment, and they’re not something you want to go bust, especially during the winter months. Fortunately, there are Government schemes and support that can help you keep your home nice and warm for your family. One of these schemes is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which has been created to help more households install efficient heating systems, and make the process much simpler than previous schemes. Read on to find out more about the scheme, when it starts, who is eligible, how much it costs and how you can claim it.
The Boiler Update Scheme is a scheme from the Government, due to launch in Spring 2022, as part of the new Heat and Buildings Strategy that the Government announced in October. Also known as the Clean Heat Grant, this scheme aims to help households fund a low-carbon alternative to their existing gas boilers. The scheme aims to lower the barrier of entry by providing households with an upfront payment to help cover the costs of the renewable energy technology they are switching to, such as ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers, and air source heat pumps. This amount can be up-to £5000, depending on what technology you are switching to, and where you live.
This scheme is slightly different from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which is closing to new applicants in March 2022 and being replaced by the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
This scheme has been made available as a way to make low-carbon technologies more accessible so that households can afford the upfront costs, increase consumers’ confidence in the new, renewable technologies that are available to households, and help the UK meet the net zero emissions target by 2050. An increase in renewable technology will also help the reduction in the use of unnecessary fossil fuel consumption, by moving houses off the grid. This scheme is a step towards the Government’s target, which has been set to install approximately 600,000 heat pumps each year, by 2028.
The new Boiler Upgrade Scheme opens for applications in April 2022, shortly after the closure of the RHI in March 2022 as its successor. The scheme has been said to run for 3 years, with a Government budget of £450 million.
The eligibility criteria for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is very similar to the Domestic RHI. The criteria have been clearly laid out by the Government, and will include the following:
You don’t just have to be a homeowner to apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. You are also able to apply if you are a public or private landlord in England and Wales. Unfortunately, the new scheme will not be available to social housing properties.
A heat pump extracts energy from the ground, or the air, and works by moving heat to different areas in order to warm it up. This does not release carbon into the atmosphere, unlike when you use a gas or oil boiler, which releases carbon whenever the water is boiled.
The cost of a heat pump and the installation can vary significantly. On average, an air source heat pump, plus installation, will cost approximately £6,000-£8,000. Alternatively, you can opt for a ground source heat pump, however, this costs more, at approximately £10,000-£18,000.
The best way to assess how much it is going to cost you, and if it is worth the investment, is to get a certified contractor to your property to complete an initial survey. This is because it will vary depending on your needs, and the amount of heat that is required. You can also then consider how much of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme you are eligible for and can subsidise from the price. The aim of the grant is to make heat pumps more affordable and put them at a similar price point as a gas boiler, however, it is unlikely that it will cover the entire cost of the installation.
You will first need to speak to a heat pump installation company, who will be able to assess your needs, and then make an application to Ofgem on your behalf for the grant.
The Clean Heat Grant initially stated that the upfront payment would be made available with the use of vouchers, of which the delivery would be on a first-come, first-serve basis. The amount you receive will depend on where you live, and which low-carbon heating system you install.
The installer will be notified of the voucher amount, and will then have approximately 3 months to complete the installation. Once the installation has been completed, the installer will create a microgeneration certification, which is required by Ofgem to show that their criteria have been met, and then the grant amount will be issued to the installer. The installer can then invoice you for the remaining funds.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a great way to get a heat pump, a renewable energy source, at a much more affordable price point, reduce your carbon footprint, and play your role in helping the UK meet its energy targets.