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Last updated: 20 May 2022
If you want to replace your old boiler with an energy-efficient heating system, to help with your carbon footprint and energy bills, help might be available through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. Read on to see if you're eligible and how to apply.
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What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a current government initiative that aims to support the decarbonisation of both homes and businesses across England and Wales. It offers grants to eligible properties that can go towards the installation of low-carbon and energy-efficient heating systems such as biomass boilers and heat pumps.
What does the Boiler Upgrade Scheme offer?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers one-off discount payments towards the cost of installing one of the following heating systems:
- Biomass boilers (£5,000 discount)
- Air source heat pump (£5,000 discount)
- Ground source heat pump (£6,000 discount)
Most homes and businesses will only be eligible for either the air-source heat pump or ground source heat pump grant. The biomass boiler grant is only available to buildings that are not connected to the gas grid, such as those in remote, rural locations.
Am I eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
To be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, you must:
- Have a home or small business premises in England or Wales. If you live in Scotland, an alternative would be the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme. Similarly, people in Northern Ireland can apply to the Boiler Replacement Scheme.
- Be the owner of that property.
- Have an installation capacity of up to 45kWth. This should cover the vast majority of homes in the country.
- Have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with no recommendations for insulation, unless your property is exempt.
Can I apply for the scheme if I already have a low-carbon heating system?
No. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is only available to those replacing an inefficient, fossil fuel heating systems, including old gas, oil, and electric boilers. So, if you’ve already got a biomass boiler, for example, you won’t be able to receive any help replacing it with a ground source heat pump.
My property is a new build - will it be eligible?
In most cases, no. Because all new builds in the UK must be built to meet certain standards in terms of energy-efficiency, they should already be using low-carbon heating systems. There are some exceptions, however, such as if you built your property yourself.
But while newer build properties tend to be more energy-efficient, this doesn’t mean their perfect. There are always things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your heating.
Can I apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme now?
Yes. The scheme began in April 2022, and will run until at least 2025. If you’ve installed a low-carbon heating system on or after 1 April 2022, you can still submit your application for the payment from 23 May 2022.
How do I apply to the scheme?
You don’t actually have to make the application yourself - this will be done by the installer on your behalf.
You should be aware that the value of the grant may not cover the entire cost of the new low-carbon heating system and the installation. It’s therefore a good idea to compare quotes from multiple installers before going ahead with your decision.
Which type of heating system is best for my property?
You don’t need to know exactly which low-carbon heating system to go for before applying to the scheme. Before applying, you need to find an MSC certified installer in your area who will advise you on which type of technology is best suited to your home or business.
They may also recommend that you make improvements to the energy-efficiency of your home before the installation, such as installing insulation in your loft or walls. You can read more about this with our guide on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
How much energy can I save with a low-carbon heating system?
According to the Energy Saving Trust, replacing an old fossil fuel-burning boiler to an A-rated low-carbon heating system could save you up to £580 per year in energy bills, depending on the type of property you own. And with energy costs expected to rise even further from October 2022, these savings are likely to increase in the near future.
For more information on how much you could save, check out our guide on upgrading your boiler.
How does the Boiler Upgrade Scheme work?
- You must first find an installer in your local area who can carry out the installation for you. They must be MSC certified, which proves that they are competent and will carry out the work to the industry-approved standard.
- You will then be given advice by the installer on which type of low-carbon heating system is ideal for your specific property, and whether or not you meet the criteria to be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
- The installer will then offer you a quote, which should include the total cost of the heating system and installation, as well as the value of the grant if eligible.
- The installer will then apply for the discount on your behalf.
- Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, will then contact you. You just need to confirm that the installer in question is applying for the grant on your behalf.