Governments globally are taking an ever-tougher stance on carbon emissions and in the UK the domestic sector is being targeted for significant changes. From the way we fuel our car, to how we heat our homes and how well insulated they are, the Government wants us to reduce carbon emissions.
This is all part of the Government’s Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener. As part of this strategy the Government announced a £450 million, 3-year boiler upgrade scheme which will offer grants to homeowners to encourage them to install low carbon heating systems. In this article we will take a closer look at this scheme.
What is the boiler upgrade scheme?
For eligible households, the government will give grants of up to £6,000 to assist with the installation of low carbon heating systems:
- £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump
- £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler, only in rural locations
- £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump
This will be an installer led system and the installer of the low carbon heating system will apply for the grant on your behalf and the value of the grant will be taken off the price you ultimately pay for the system. The system will be run by Ofgem who have published a handy information sheet for property owners who are thinking of taking advantage of the scheme.
Who is eligible?
Your installer will be able to advise whether you are eligible for the scheme but if the following criteria apply to you, then it is likely that you will be eligible:
- Homes and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales will be eligible.
- The maximum installation capacity of up to 45kWth covers the vast majority of these properties.
- Your property will need a valid energy performance certificate with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation.
- Biomass boilers are only eligible in rural locations and in properties off the gas grid.
- Heat pumps are eligible either on or off the gas grid.
- The commissioning date of your low carbon heating system must be on or after 1 April 2022.
- You must be fully replacing an existing fossil fuel system such as oil, gas or direct electric. Funding will not be available for the replacement of existing low carbon heat system.
- New build homes and social housing will not be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, although custom-build properties will be eligible.
How the scheme works
The boiler upgrade scheme is relatively simple, you will find and contact an MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) registered installer who will come out to your property and carry out a survey and ask some questions to ensure you are eligible. It is a good idea to get a few quotes to make sure you have a good comparison of costs. If you are happy with the quotes and agree the costs and the install, the installer will apply for the grant on your behalf and take the grant value off the bill. Ofgem will contact you and all you need to do is confirm that the installer is acting on your behalf.
The scheme started on April 1st 2022 and will run for 3 years. Installers were able to open an account with the scheme on the 11th April 2022 and the scheme will open fully on the 23rd May 2022 for grant applications and payments.
The Government is working hard to incentivise us to decarbonise our homes and this grant scheme that pays towards low carbon heating systems is a step in the right direction. Given that there are proposals from the Government to ban gas boilers in the future, taking advantage of this scheme now, might save you money in the future should you ever need to replace your current gas boiler.