News & Trends
What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and How to Check if You're Eligible
Tens of thousands of homes are missing out on government heat pump subsidies worth up to £6,000
The Government has set aside £150million to subsidise 30,000 homes and small businesses a year fitting heat pumps or biomass boilers. But the scheme is being underused, with just 8,584 heat pumps and 106 biomass boilers fitted between May 2022 and March 2023.
The scheme launched in England and Wales on 1 April 2022, with an approved £450 million funding up until 2025 and is being administered by Ofgem. In March 2023, the Government announced that the scheme will be extended until 2028 and there will be an additional budget allocation in each additional year.
Chris Delaney, managing director, GreenBuildingRenewables.co.uk:
"The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a government-backed initiative launched in May 2022 to support the decarbonisation of heat in buildings by providing an upfront grant of £5,000 for air source heat pumps (or £6,000 for ground source heat pumps) to help cover the costs of installing heat pumps and biomass boilers in homes and non-domestic buildings in
England and Wales."
Since applications for grants opened for the scheme on 23 May 2022, there has been a total of 15,768 BUS voucher applications received up to the end of March 2023, the majority of which were for grants towards Air Source Heat Pump installations (96%). Month-on-month the number of applications in March 2023 increased by 11% from the previous month (from 1,321 applications in February 2023 to 1,466 in March 2023).
The Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has found that 78 per cent of UK residents keep warm using gas central heating. Yet from 2025 no gas boilers will be installed in new build homes. And from 2035, just over ten years (and coincidently about the average time that a gas boiler lasts), all newly installed heating systems will have to be low carbon, for example, heat pumps, which effectively means after 2035, gas boilers are banned.
Chris continues: "Just like the shift that will happen over the next ten years to electric cars as manufacturers phase out petrol cars, a similar change will take place in how we heat our homes with low carbon technology. Unless you have a brand new gas boiler which should last you for the next 10-15 years if regularly serviced and well-maintained, when your existing boiler comes to the end of its life, the next heating solution you should probably be considering for your home will not be a gas boiler.
Who is eligible for BUS?
Eligibility for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) varies depending on the specific criteria set by the scheme. However, in general, homeowners and non-domestic building owners in England and Wales may be eligible for BUS if they install a heat pump or biomass boiler to replace an existing fossil fuel boiler.
The following groups are excluded from the scheme:
Any home outside England or Wales
New build developments
Social housing properties
People who want to install Hydrogen boilers and Hybrid Heat Pumps
How much am I entitled to?
BUS offers the following upfront grants:
£5,000 to support the installation of heat pumps and biomass boilers.
£6.000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump.
How do you apply?
To apply for the BUS, you must find an eligible installer registered with TrustMark or the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). The installer will help you through the application process, including applying on your behalf.
If you are not eligible for funding, other incentives can help reduce the cost of installing energy-efficient measures in your home. These incentives come in various forms, such as tax credits, rebates, and discounts, and can help make energy efficiency improvements more accessible and affordable.