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Heat Pump Grant – Boiler Upgrade Scheme – Available April 2022

The new (BUS) Boiler Upgrade Scheme formerly known as the (CHG) Clean Heat Grant will replace the (RHI) Renewable Heat Incentive and is due to start, in April 2022.  A new Government heat pump grant scheme which aims to change the way we heat our homes, to help meet the UK’s net zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme will offer an upfront £5000, or £6000 government voucher given to households to help towards the capital costs of installing clean renewable heat from low carbon technologies such as heat pumps. The scheme will run for 3 years starting April 2022, and the government has set aside a budget of £450 million under this scheme.

Funding is currently limited to £450m which means only 90,000 households can claim £5,000 over the next 3 years. This is on a first come first served basis. Eligibility and criteria are the same as the RHI with regards to your properties EPC and insulation.

Under the current RHI you could receive up to £11,000 funding in total that is paid on a quarterly basis over a 7-year period but, under the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme you would receive an upfront voucher but only £5000 for an Air Source Heat Pump or £6000 for a Ground Source Heat Pump. For more details Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) | Ofgem.

 Who can access the (BUS) Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

Almost anyone who owns an existing home with a boiler should be able to apply for the £5000 or £6000 voucher. New build homes or social housing is not included in this scheme. There is another scheme for Social Housing customers called Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

How will the new (BUS) Boiler Upgrade Scheme be delivered?

There will be a voucher-based delivery mechanism led by the installer for grant application and redemption. This will be managed by an independent scheme administrator. Vouchers will have a set validity period to ensure they are utilised in a timely manner and that unused vouchers can be recycled.

What is the eligibility and Criteria?

To ensure installations are only undertaken in properties appropriate for low carbon heat technologies, a valid EPC – meaning one which is less than 10 years old – with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation must be evidenced.

In the interest of simplifying the consumer journey and facilitating scheme uptake, applications may be made for properties with outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation, given it is evidenced through a newly generated EPC at the voucher redemption stage that the installation of these types of insulation has been carried out during the voucher validity period. This is to reduce the disruption on the property owner who may wish to have the installation of the low carbon heat system and insulation carried out at the same time.

If a property does not require an EPC, or installing the recommended insulation is not possible, an application may still be made if evidence from a relevant body can be provided demonstrating that an insulation exemption applies to the property, or the requisite insulation is already installed. The same insulation exemptions that operate on the domestic RHI will apply to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. These include reasons such as the property being a listed building or located in a conservation area.

Custom-build homes will not have to provide an EPC to evidence insulation eligibility since they are subject to the latest building regulations with respect to building fabric efficiency.

What consumer protection is there?

The government has stated that they recognise the importance of consumer protection and ensuring installations supported through the scheme are of the highest quality. To implement this, all installers participating in the scheme must be MCS certified and members of a Consumer Code such as RECC that ensures customers are protected by a Trading Standards Institute Approved Code of Practice. The government has also lifted the minimum standard of system design efficiency for heat pump heating system from a SCOP (Seasonal Coefficient of Performance) of 2.5 to 2.8, effectively, this will provide a better level of protection to the consumer ensuring your heat pump running costs are lower.

 What are the next steps for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

Ahead of scheme launch in April 2022, the government will introduce regulations to deliver the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. They will work closely with the scheme administrator on the detailed design of the administration, digital solution, and scheme guidance to ensure it works for all users. This process will be informed by engagement with users.

Is there a financial benefit for me using the current RHI rather than the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme in April 2022?

Yes, without doubt, you could lose out financially which could be a remarkable difference in the monies that you receive if you proceed with the current RHI now or before the March 31st Deadline. We have provided a couple of following examples:

Example 1 – 3 Bed Semi-Detached.

An average 3 bed semi property built before 1985 with a gas boiler would receive £8,699 from the RHI as opposed to just £5,000 under the new scheme, meaning you have lost £3,699 towards the overall cost of your system which could be 60% of the total cost.

Example 2 – 4 Bed Detached.

An average 4 bed detached property built before 1985 with an oil boiler would receive an estimated £11,709 from the RHI as opposed to just £5,000 under the new scheme, meaning you have lost £6,709 towards the overall cost of your system.

You can check how much money you would save by having a heat pump installed now and before the March 31st, 2022, deadline by using our online Heat Pump quote tool.

 

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