If you’ve been looking into grants and schemes for boiler upgrades, then you’ll have probably come across the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. But knowing what it is, if you qualify, and what you’re entitled to under the scheme can seem complicated. That’s where Fixx comes in.
Below we’ll take a look at what the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is and help you work out if you could qualify for government support for a boiler upgrade.
September 2023 Boiler Upgrade Scheme Update
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced in September 2023, the government’s new plans for reaching Net Zero by 2050 – and it directly affects the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. He said:
“The Boiler Upgrade Scheme which gives people cash grants to upgrade their boiler will be increased by 50% to £7,500.
There are no strings attached. The money will never need to be repaid.”
The increase in funding for heat pumps will come into effect from Monday 23 October 2023.
In order to receive support under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme for a new heat pump, you’ll still need to meet certain criteria. We’ll cover the full details of the scheme below.
What Is The Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a UK government scheme designed to support individuals trying to replace outdated fossil fuel heating systems with a more eco-friendly and green-minded heating system instead. This includes:
- Air source heat pumps
- Ground source heat pumps
- Biomass boilers
Support for air source heat pumps
Air source heat pumps are relatively simple to install at most homes. They work by transferring heat from outside air to water in your home, which then heats up your radiators or underfloor heating. The heat is essentially absorbed and transferred to a fluid which is heated by the heat pump, and then delivered to your home. How hot or cold it is outside doesn’t affect your heat pump’s performance unless in extreme temperatures where efficiency may start to drop off.
Previously you were entitled to £5,000 support, but as of September 2023, the figure has been raised to £7,500, coming into effect on 23 October 2023.
Support for ground source heat pumps
Again, ground source heat pumps are relatively straightforward to install in homes. They work slightly differently to air source heat pumps, instead drawing on heat from the ground outside your home, rather than the air. A pipe will be buried in your garden, where fluid will pass and absorb heat from the ground. The fluid will then pass through a heat exchanger in the heat pump where the temperature is raised further for use in your home with radiators and underfloor heating.
As of 23 October 2023, you can receive £7,500 towards the cost of a ground source heat pump. This is increased from the previous £6,000 figure prior to Prime Minister Sunak’s speech.
Support for biomass boilers
Biomass boilers are only available in rural locations at properties that aren’t connected to the gas grid. It’ll also need an emission certificate showing that polluting emissions are being kept to a minimum and it can’t be at a self build property either.
Although restrictive in terms of properties that a biomass boiler may be appropriate for, if you do meet the criteria for BUS and your property is suitable, then you could receive £5,000 towards the cost of a biomass boiler.
The £5,000 figure for biomass boilers was not updated in the September speech from Mr Sunak and will remain the same as before.
Which Green Heating System Will I Receive?
That depends on which of the three – air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, or biomass boilers – suits your property the best. Only a professional survey, like those conducted by our expert team at Fixx, can help you determine which heating solution will be best for you. It’s unlikely to be biomass boilers in most cases.
As soon as we know your property, your EPC rating, and your needs, we’ll be able to help find the perfect solution for you.
Who Is Eligible For Support With BUS?
In order to receive support under BUS you’ll need to be the owner of the property. Some government led schemes allow you to apply as a private tenant with your landlord’s permission, but for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme this isn’t possible. You’ll need to be the owner of the property, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a business, a home you rent privately to tenants, or if it’s a second home, only the owner can apply for support.
You’ll also need to ensure you’re:
- replacing fossil fuel heating systems
- have installed your new heating system after 1 April 2022
When Does The Boiler Upgrade Scheme End?
BUS will run from 1 April 2022 until 2028. The government has set aside £450 million to the scheme and aims to support thousands of houses in making the switch from fossil fuel heating systems to greener options.
How Does The Scheme Work?
In order to receive monetary support for your switch to a greener heating system, you’ll need to contact a registered installer (like Fixx – we believe local, trusted installers are always better for the job) to get quotes for the work.
We’ll then be able to confirm whether or not you’re eligible for a heat pump system to replace your old boiler. After that, we can provide a quote for the work, and then apply on your behalf to the Ofgem website where we’ll be able to get the value of your grant and deduct it from the cost of your installation.
You should then be contacted by Ofgem to confirm that the installer is applying for the grant on your behalf. You might also receive a visit to ensure the installation has been completed as specified.
The best part about the way BUS works is that there’s no pressure for you to apply or sort out the scheme yourself. Instead, the onus is on us, as your local installer, to apply for BUS to get the grant to cover part of the cost of installation, taking the stress out of the situation for you.
Where Is The Grant Available?
You can only apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme in England and Wales. If you live in Scotland, there is a separate scheme available through Home Energy Scotland.
If you’re a private landlord or homeowner in England or Wales with a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) issued in the last 10 years that doesn’t recommend insulation installation, then you ought to qualify for support under BUS.
Are There Any Exclusions From The Scheme?
You won’t be able to apply for BUS if:
- You live in social housing
- You have a new build property
- You require insulation
- You don’t have an EPC
- You already have a low-carbon heating system at home
- You are planning to install hydrogen boilers, hybrid heat pumps, or solar thermal, which are low-carbon heating systems but aren’t covered by the scheme
Will I Still Need To Contribute To The Installation Myself?
Yes. Unlike with other government schemes where individuals may have the full cost of a home improvement covered, BUS will only contribute £7,500 towards the cost of air source or ground source heat pumps, or £5,000 towards the cost of a biomass boiler. This won’t cover the full cost of the installation.
How Much Do Heat Pumps And Biomass Boilers Cost?
Without support from BUS, air source and ground source heat pumps can cost anywhere from £10-£15,000 depending on the size, its capacity, and the brand. For biomass boilers, this is closer to £20,000.
When you minus the BUS support, you’ll end up actually paying around £2,500-£7,500 for heat pumps, and around £12,500 for biomass boilers. Those are some significant savings.
What Is The Boiler Upgrade Scheme: Summary
Hopefully our blog today has taught you everything you need to know about the updated boiler upgrade scheme so you know exactly where you stand. With more support on offer than ever before, switching to a heat pump couldn’t be simpler, so why not consider contacting Fixx for a quote.
As a local installer, we’ll be able to see through the whole process with you – no outsourced customer service teams or installers. Go local, and we’ll also be on hand should any problems occur. Get your quote and see if you’re eligible for BUS today.