On Thursday 31st of August, the government set out proposals to change the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). The Government says that the proposed changes are designed to make the BUS more accessible and effective, and to help the UK achieve its Net Zero emissions target by 2050.
What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is an arrangement that allows homeowners and small businesses to receive money towards the cost of energy-efficiency measures. It is specifically designed to target how buildings are heated. Customers can benefit from:
- £5000 grant for an air source heat pump
- £6000 grant for a ground source heat pump
- £5000 grant for a biomass boiler
The BUS has thus far proved to be an essential part of the UK’s Net Zero strategy. It has allowed many households and businesses to upgrade the efficiency of their dwellings. In fact, over 4,600 households have used the scheme to replace their gas boiler with a heat pump*.
The Proposals to Change the Boiler Upgrade Scheme
As effective as the BUS has been, it has its limitations. Even despite the considerable grants, some people are still unable to finance these improvements. Some are held back because they are not able to complete the other improvements that are required to qualify for these grants, others because of the state of their property as it stands, and yet others find that the full grant is not suitable for them. In light of this, the new proposals have been set out to make it even easier for people to benefit from this scheme:
Varying the Grant
The suggested changes would involve varying the level of grant which is available depending on the property type, and the existing fuel source. Thus, more versions of the grants would be available to more people.
Simplifying the Process of Qualifying
The qualification process for the grant could be simplified. The government has proposed removing the requirement to install cavity or loft insulation first. As a result, many more households would be able to consider this as an option.
Making More Options Available
Furthermore, the proposals suggest extending the options to include biomass boilers which also act as an oven. This would build on top of the existing provision of a £5000 grant towards a biomass boiler. By including this new cutting-edge green technology it would allow the nation to truly take a serious step towards Net Zero.
The Consultation is Open
The ‘Proposed amendments to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme Regulations’ consultation is now open until 12th of October 2023. Anyone who has an interest in the BUS, including heat pump installers, suppliers, manufacturers, and the wider industry, is encouraged to share their views.
“Heat pumps are a vital tool in cutting the carbon emissions from people heating their homes, while also helping to drive down costs and boosting our energy security.
Today’s changes go even further and will mean even more people could benefit from making the switch, offering them the option for a low-emission, low-cost form of heating their homes.
Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance
* Statistic gleaned from research conducted by NESTA