Five minutes on … the Boiler Upgrade Scheme 

As the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is rolled out to offer homeowners and small businesses grants to support the installation of heat pumps and biomass boilers, we caught up with Phil Hurley, chair of the Heat Pump Association, to get the fast and furious lowdown on the benefits and criteria for installers.

Phil Hurley - HPA

Who qualifies for the boiler upgrade scheme? 

“Both homeowners and small business owners in England and Wales may qualify for the voucher, provided the building has received an EPC rating in the past decade. Private landlords and second-home owners are also eligible.” 

What will the benefits of the scheme be to consumers, installers and the heat pump sector? 

“For consumers, there is a clear benefit – grants to install a new, highly efficient heat pump system which can help to alleviate energy bill rises and improve the value of their property. Installers in turn will find additional business, with funding support for an estimated 90,000 heat pump installations.  

A positive start to the industry

“Vouchers are for £5,000 and £6,000 towards air and ground-source heat pump installations respectively. The heat pump sector will benefit from this, marking a positive start for the industry in ramping up towards the targeted 600,000 installations per year by 2028.” 

Do installers need to do anything to be able to benefit from the scheme? 

“Installers must be MCS certified to apply for the grant. If they are, they must create a BUS account with Ofgem, 2-3 weeks prior to submitting a voucher application for funding. Importantly, they must ensure the property and system being installed are applicable under the BUS, to receive funding.” 

In what way is the BUS an improvement on the Green Homes Grant (GHG) / Renewable Hat Incentive (RHI)? 

“Whilst the RHI delivered funding towards cleaner heat, it did not do enough to tackle the upfront cost barrier associated with installing a new heating system. The GHG on the other hand, demonstrated several key learnings, such as the need for simplicity in process, ample time for application, and better public awareness.” 

Is the BUS investment enough? 

“The BUS provides funding for 90,000 heat pump installations across the next three years. This provides a positive kick-start to the process of ramping up to 600,000 heat pump installs by 2028. Further policy and support from Government in the future will help to drive this even further.” 

Is it only replacements that are eligible for funding? 

“Grants under the BUS are only eligible for low carbon systems which replace an existing fossil fuel heating system. New build properties are therefore excluded, whilst self-build ones are allowed.” 

Is this an incentive for installers to upskill? 

“Yes, it demonstrates a clear sign that the government is serious about the switch to heat pump technology, and demonstrates the clear value in immediate upskilling for installers.” 

Click here for more information about the scheme, who is eligible and criteria for business owners.