The Boiler Upgrade Scheme has come into force and replaces the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme which came to an end earlier this year. Domestic and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales may now qualify for government grants to install low energy heating systems. Subject to eligibility applicants will receive £6,000 off the cost of a ground source heat pump or £5,000 off the cost of an air source heat pump or biomass boiler. The latter are really only applicable in rural areas where the property is not on the gas grid. Hybrid systems are not eligible for the grants.
Certain criteria must be met, in particular the property must have a current EPC and have no outstanding recommendations relating to loft or cavity wall insulation. Property owners, private landlords and second home owners are all eligible.
Social housing, most new builds and properties that have already benefited from previous government funding for a heat source or biomass boiler do not qualify for these grants. The majority of new builds are excluded as it is cheaper for these systems to be installed during the initial build than to be retrofitted to a property.
The proposed new heating system must be capable of meeting the whole of the heating and hot water requirements of the property and once the grant voucher has been issued the work must, as a general rule, be completed within 3 months.
This is all part of the Government’s drive towards net zero by the middle of the century and is designed to get homes off the gas grid and away from fossil fuel heating. The scheme is currently intended to run from 2022 to 2025.