Neil Sawers, Commercial Technical Manager at Grant UK, examines the take up of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
When the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) replaced the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme earlier this year, many wondered whether the BUS’s single up-front grant would be more or less popular than the quarterly payments paid over seven years through the RHI. The initial BUS statistics suggest that uptake is slow.
Although the BUS officially launched on 1st April 2022, the scheme did not open for applications until 23rd May, a lag needed to allow installers to set up their accounts. OFGEM have published that between 23rd May – 30th June, 857 BUS vouchers were issued (totaling £4,294,000) and 169 vouchers were redeemed (totaling £801,000), figures which suggest there is currently a relatively low appetite for the support offered through the BUS.
Speaking to installers, they have mixed feelings towards the BUS. For those who have been MCS registered for many years and who installed through the RHI, adapting to the BUS has not been too troublesome. However, for others, the prospect of attaining MCS accreditation combined with the increased paperwork involved in the BUS application process is proving too much hassle.
Interestingly, consumer awareness of the BUS is significantly higher than it was for the RHI with more homeowners knowing about the £5,000 grant that is available if they swap from a fossil fuel boiler to an air source heat pump. This aligns with the growing trend of consumers equipping themselves with more knowledge about their prospective new heating system compared to a few years ago when an end-user would often make their decision based solely on their installer’s advice. Time will tell if this increased awareness converts into higher volumes of vouchers being redeemed through the BUS.
For installers interested in becoming MCS certified for Heat Pump Design and Installation, Grant UK’s Training Academy is running both the LCL Awards Level 3 courses. Find out more at www.grantuk.com/professional/training