Boiler Upgrade Scheme amended removing need for mandatory insulation 

Boiler Upgrade Scheme amended removing need for mandatory insulation 

Changes have been announced to the government’s scheme to encourage the uptake of heat pumps. The move, announced on 14th March 2024, means that homeowners will no longer have to install cavity wall or loft insulation to use the scheme.  

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) offers grants of £7,500 off the cost of heat pump installation.     

Energy Security Secretary, Claire Coutinho, said: “We’ve already supported families by making our Boiler Upgrade Scheme one of the most generous in Europe and now we’re making heat pumps even cheaper and easier to install. This is all part of our wider plan to ensure we cut our emissions and make homes more energy efficient without burdening families with high costs.” 

Reacting to the news Madeleine Gabriel, director of sustainable future at innovation charity Nesta, said: “Heat pumps are the most efficient low carbon source of heating for people’s homes and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is helping keep installation costs down for households.

“The strength of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is that it is a straightforward offer with relatively few restrictions on eligibility. The Government’s announcement today removes further barriers to uptake meaning that even more homes will be eligible to use the grant to install a heat pump.” 

The move coincides with a proposal from the government to delay the implementation of the Clean Heat Market Mechanism (CHMM) by a year to April 2025. The mechanism is designed to encourage faster adoption of Heat Pumps by requiring boiler manufacturers to also provide Heat Pumps. Companies that miss their targets can buy credits from others that have gone beyond their targets, or face fines from the government.  

In announcing the proposal the government said it ‘wants to provide industry with further time to prepare their businesses, and for more consumers to take up heat pumps, before introducing the CHMM scheme.’ 

The move could be seen as political, with the implementation of the mechanism being moved after the next General Election. Some in the industry have called the CHMM a ‘boiler tax’ likely to push up the cost of gas boilers.  

Mike Foster CEO of the trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) said: “We welcome the delay in the introduction of the boiler tax, as confirmed today by the government. It ends weeks of speculation in the media. However, this decision is clearly political, not about heating policy. The government have set a trap for a future administration, which according to the polls is likely to be Labour, knowing the boiler tax from 2025 is likely to be around £200.” 

Charlotte Lee, CEO of the Heat Pump Association said: “Today the Government has issued an addendum to their consultation response on the Clean Heat Market Mechanism, proposing a one-year delay to its introduction. 

“Whilst this does not provide the certainty industry desperately needs; it does offer an opportunity for the Government to deliver functioning processes in a transparent manner to enable the mechanism to work. This delay also provides time for the Government to lay the required Statutory Instruments to introduce the policy.” 

 MAIN IMAGE: ©Nimur/Adobestock

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