Russell Dean looks at the new boiler upgrade scheme

Homeowners looking to replace their old central heating boiler with a modern, renewable heating system may have heard about the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) announced by the Government last year.

Launching this month, the boiler upgrade scheme aims to help with the Government's plan for the decarbonisation of buildings.

It is a scheme where homeowners will be incentivised to choose more eco-friendly heating alternatives, such as heat pumps and, in some circumstances, biomass boilers.

The BUS will provide grant money to properties in England and Wales that will go towards the costs of purchase and installation of these greener heating technologies. 

The aim is to support low carbon heat technologies in up to 90,000 homes and buildings across England and Wales. The scheme will also support up to 240,000 jobs in the industry across the UK by 2035.

This scheme will help homeowners choose more eco-friendly heating systems

Russell Dean Russell Dean Head of Residential Heating

Reducing the costs of low carbon heating technologies

Formally known as the Clean Heat Grant, the new BUS will offer homeowners a simple, fair, and more cost-effective way of switching to low-carbon, renewable heating alternatives as they replace their old boilers over the next decade.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is being brought in to help reduce the up-front costs of switching to heat pumps and other low-carbon heating alternatives to make them more affordable for households to retrofit and run.

The Government aims to make choosing low-carbon heating solutions no more expensive than conventional fossil fuel-dependent boilers. Their aim is for all new heating systems installed in UK homes from 2035 to be low carbon heating.

Who can qualify for the BUS?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme applies to homes and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales with an installation capacity of up to 45kWth. 

Successful applicants will receive financial support for installing air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps and, in some instances, biomass boilers for properties in rural areas that are not connected to mains gas.

What financial support is available?

The Government is investing £450 million into the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme, and Ofgem will manage it. Households can receive a grant payment towards their installation costs. The scheme will be available for three years, and grants will be available from Spring 2022. The grants offered will be:

●        £5,000 for air source heat pumps and biomass boilers

●        £6,000 for ground source heat pumps

How do you apply for the BUS?

There will be a voucher application process that will be installer-led. The grant application will be completed in steps as follows:

1: Pre-installation. The homeowner must instruct the installer to carry out the work and apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. The installer must be MCS certified and a member of a Consumer Code (such as HIES).

2: The installer will apply to the voucher scheme and go through an eligibility check. This will include supplying information about the technology type, the property owner's postcode and contact details for verification.

3: The homeowner will be contacted by Ofgem to confirm their consent. Ofgem will assess the application and, if accepted, will issue a voucher to the installer to reclaim the installation costs.

4: The installer will complete the installation and then provide evidence of their work to redeem the voucher. Ofgem will pay the installer for the amount associated with the grant.

Russell Dean is Head of Residential Heating