With the aim of enhancing the uptake of heat pumps in homes across the country, the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) is proposing a change of criteria for those applying for funding through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is part of a broader effort to make homes in the UK more energy-efficient and reduce carbon emissions. Its main goal is to encourage homeowners to replace old, inefficient boilers with low-carbon technologies such as heat pumps and biomass boilers.
The current criteria means you must:
- own the property you’re applying for
- be replacing a fossil fuel heating system (such as oil, gas or electric)
- have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation (you can check here)
In line with the Government’s target to be Net Zero by 2050, the BUS grant plays a massive factor for the decarbonisation of heat in homes throughout the UK. In an effort to increase the uptake of the grant the DESNZ is consulting on proposed changes to the regulations.
Differentiating Grant Levels
At present the grants are based solely on the proposed technology type, with the applicant receiving £5,000 towards the installation of an air source heat pump or biomass boiler, and £6,000 towards a ground source heat pump. Under the newly proposed regulations the value of the grant may differentiate depending on its existing heat source, and the type of property/owner. This could potentially allow homeowners with oil heating systems to receive larger grants compared to those with gas, due to the expectation of a fall in costs for properties currently using gas.
Lower Energy Efficiency Requirements
To be able to eligible to receive funding under the grant, currently your property requires a valid EPC (under 10 years old) with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation. As part of the new changes, DESNZ is proposing to reduce or remove the energy efficient criteria current set. This could allow property owners with insulation recommendations on their EPC, or with no recommendations but on an invalid EPC, to still be eligible to receive funding.
Current Grant Uptake
Since the Boiler Upgrade Scheme came into fruition on 23 May 2022, out of 21,438 applications submitted, a total of 13,766 vouchers have been redeemed with a total value of £69,210,000 (Ofgem). Out of the 13,766 applications around 75% of these were issued in the first year (May 2022 – March 2023), equaling around 10,000 installations. The Government set a target of 600,000 installations a year to be able to achieve their Net Zero targets, and with current installs at around 10,000 per year, they are currently only achieving between 1% – 2% of their target.
From experience we understand how the BUS grant has enabled so many individuals to upgrade their heating systems and switch to low-carbon, energy efficient alternatives. We’ve found the scheme has provided many benefits to our clients which have assisted them to reduce their energy usage, and therefore spending, to become more educated about energy, carbon emissions, and renewables; and to have significantly reduced their their properties carbon footprint as well.
However we also understand that the scheme isn’t achieving its overall target and change is needed to ensure the country stays inline with its Net Zero strategy. We therefore welcome the opportunity to consult with DESNZ regarding proposed regulation changes and encourage other stakeholders to do so as well. (You can see the consultation document and where to provide your responses here.)
Here To Help
If you’d like to speak to an expert about the boiler upgrade scheme, heat pumps, or renewables in general, then reach out to a member of our team today. You can leverage our experience to identify and transition to the most suitable renewable solution for you.