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Boiler Upgrade Scheme – unlock the benefits of an energy-efficient home

Company News28 June 2024

Ensuring your home is energy efficient is the best way to stay warm and well and your heating system is at the heart of your home. Heat pumps are a highly efficient way heating your home and are receiving some serious Government backing as a low carbon alternative to fossil fuel appliances such as gas and oil boilers.

But, right now, heat pumps cost a bit more than a common gas boiler to install, which can be a barrier for those choosing their next heating system.

This is where the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) comes in, introduced in 2022 it has already funded over 25,000 heat pump installations. In late 2023 the scheme got a boost as funding was increased from £5,000 to £7,500 to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel heating systems with a heat pump.

What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) supports the decarbonisation of homes in England and Wales.

The scheme provides upfront capital grants of £7,500 towards the cost and installation of a heat pump.

It is designed to encourage property owners to replace existing fossil fuel heating with more efficient, low carbon heating systems.

By doing so, you enjoy an efficient, warm and comfortable home – and also reduce your carbon footprint.

Key Features of the Scheme

Financial Assistance

The scheme provides financial support to eligible homeowners to help cover the costs of upgrading their boiler. This can be a significant relief for households looking to invest in a heat pump.

Environmental Benefits

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme aligns with the Government's commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

By opting for a heat pump, which uses electricity to extract free energy from the air, as opposed to burning fossil fuels, you can contribute to a greener and cleaner environment.

Who can apply for a BUS?

The BUS is open to domestic property owners. The property must be a privately-owned residential dwelling and not used for social housing. It must also have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (issued in the last 10 years). Previously the scheme required homes to have cavity or loft insulation to be eligible but recent changes to the scheme have relaxed this requirement, so discuss with your installer if you might be eligible if you weren’t before.

How much is the funding?

£7,500 is available for air source heat pumps and ground source, whilst £5,000 is available for the installation of a biomass boiler in certain properties.

What technologies are covered by the BUS scheme?

The scheme covers a number of different low carbon technologies, including air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps. Some biomass boilers are also eligible if the property is in a rural location where there is no gas connection and a heat pump cannot be used.

What is not included in the scheme?

There are a number of exclusions that would make a property or application ineligible. These include:

Hybrid systems that use a fossil fuel source

Biomass boilers in homes that could be heated by a heat pump or are on the gas grid

Solar thermal heating systems. Though these can be installed with a heat pump, the heat pump must cover all the heat and hot water load as there is no specific funding for solar thermal systems

New builds. However, a custom one-off new build, such as a self-build may still be eligible

Social housing. Other funding, such as the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, exists to support the installation of low carbon heating in these properties

What is the process?

The BUS scheme provides funding in the form of a voucher.

The voucher application process is managed by the installer on behalf of the homeowner.

Step 1: The homeowner gets a quote from an installer that’s accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Only one quote is needed but homeowners would be advised to source at least three quotes for comparison.

Step 2: The application is submitted by the installer prior to installation and approved.

Step 3: The new heating system is installed by the accredited installer.

Step 4: The voucher is redeemed by the installer after commissioning and registering the appliance and the value is deducted from the customer’s invoice. Vouchers must be redeemed within three months for air source heat pumps and biomass boilers and within six months for ground source heat pumps.

Are there any requirements for installers?

There are some requirements installers must meet. These include:

Holding MCS accreditation for the renewable technology proposed

Registered with a scheme administrator such as NAPIT or NICEIC

Employing or subcontracting workers with relevant industry qualifications

Holding membership of an associated consumer code such as RECC or HIES

What are the heating system requirements?

To be eligible, the homeowner must install low carbon heating technology that replaces an existing fossil fuel-based system. There is an exception if the property is a one-off custom new build, such as a self-build, and it is the first heating system to be installed.

There are also some specific requirements relating to the performance of the heating system being installed. For example, the new system must be able to provide 100% of the heating and hot water demand of the home. Heat pumps are required to have a minimum Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP) of 2.8 and the chosen system must not exceed 45kW load capacity.

The new system cannot include any fossil fuel source and must represent the MCS design in full when installed.

Stay warm and contribute to a sustainable future

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a golden opportunity for you to enhance your home’s heating efficiency while receiving financial support from the Government.

Stay warm and energy-efficient by exploring the benefits of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

For more information on the scheme, visit the Government website.