Boris Boilers – a capital idea

Boris Boilers – a capital idea

So London has a boiler scrappage scheme…

Modelled almost entirely on the nationwide Labour scheme from 2010, it offers 400 quid to replace a sub-70% efficient boiler with a 90%+ efficient unit – be it HE boiler or renewable heating system.

Everybody loves a spot of alliteration, of course, so hot on the (w)heels of Boris Bikes, it’s the dawn of Boris Boilers. This scheme could be the mayor’s legacy for the capital, a lasting last hurrah. And to give him his due, it’s considerably more likely to warm the cockles (and possibly mussels, whelks and jellied eels) of the average Londoner than setting fire to the discounted theatre tickets that Sadiq Khan’s offering if he gets in on May 5th.

Flippancy aside, London’s example is one that needs to be followed. Yes, national government should have done more than throw some loose change at boiler scrappage six years ago – particularly in light of the time and effort put in by sections of the heating industry to make it a reality – but at least it managed that. Successive Cameron-led administrations have done virtually nothing in this area and then downgraded that contribution beyond the bare minimum. In keeping with the talk emanating from Westminster of devolution and autonomy for the regions, the onus is now on local government to facilitate measures that can help to improve efficiency and reduce the burden of heating bills. It’s not the ideal scenario but it’s one that could prove workable for all concerned.

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