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The cost of living has increased with the rising inflation globally. The impact was largely seen after the COVID-19 pandemic and not to forget the rising cost of energy bills due to the increase in demand.
The demand for gas increases in winter due to increased usage of heating systems. For most of the households, the bills may not be as high as others. The reason is the usage of new and efficient boilers consumes less energy and produces more heat compared to old boilers. And most importantly they are good at promoting a healthy environment.
However, the problem with vulnerable and low-income households is that they can’t afford boiler upgrades. That is why the government of the UK has come up with a boiler upgrade scheme to fund households and help replace old boilers with new ones.
In this post, we are going to shed some light on what is a boiler upgrade scheme, how to apply it, and eligibility criteria.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
What is the Boiler Replacement Scheme?
The boiler replacement scheme also called the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a grant for homeowners in the UK.
The objective of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is to reduce carbon emissions by replacing fossil fuel heating with highly efficient, low-carbon emitting systems such as air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, and biomass boilers.
In fact, the government of the UK has set the target to meet net zero emissions by 2050.
The scheme offered £5,000 until 23 October 2023 for air source heat pump and biomass boiler installation costs.
However, in September 2023, the government raised the grant amount for the ground source heat pump and air source heat pump to £7,500.
While the funding for biomass boilers will be the same i.e. £5,000. Refer to the table below for funding for each type of boiler under the Boiler Replacement Scheme.
|Air Source Heat Pump
|Ground Source Heat Pump
Note: As mentioned earlier, the grants for heat pumps have been raised on 23 October 2023.
If you have applied for the boiler replacement grant before 23 October 2023 and the boiler has not been replaced yet, you can cancel your grant and reapply for the raised grant.
The grant is not applicable for a hybrid heat pump system that includes a combination of air source heat pump and gas boiler.
Who is Eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme UK?
The boiler upgrade scheme is applicable to residents of England and Wales.
To be eligible for a boiler replacement grant, here are some requirements to fulfill.
Ownership of the Property
The applicant of the boiler upgrade scheme must be the owner of the property whether it be residential, commercial, or rented out to the tenant.
Valid Energy Performance Certificate
The property must have an energy performance certificate (EPC) without any recommendation for cavity or loft insulation.
If you are applying for a boiler upgrade scheme, you must be an owner either in England or Wales.
The maximum installation capacity you would get with the boiler upgrade scheme is 45kWth.
The authorization of low carbon heating system must be on or after 1 April 2022.
Restriction for Heat Pumps and Biomass Boilers
To be eligible for biomass boilers, the property must be dwelling in a rural area and not connected to the gas grid. Whereas for heat pumps, there are no such criteria.
Existing Heat Systems Not Eligible for Funding
The boiler upgrade scheme eligibility requires that you replace your existing fossil fuel system completely.
This includes oil and gas boilers. Moreover, electric heating systems like panels and storage heaters are not available for replacement of existing low-carbon heating systems.
Apply with Upgrades
A boiler upgrade scheme is applicable if you have received separate funding for upgrading the efficiency of your property like insulation of windows and doors.
Newly Built Homes Eligibility
Social housing and newly built homes are not applicable to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. However, you can still apply, if you have a self-built property.
How to Apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
Applying for a boiler upgrade scheme is easy. Just follow the steps given below.
Contact the MCS Certified installer to give a quote for the upgradation
Your eligibility will be confirmed by the installer
Agree to a quote given by your installer
The installer will apply on your behalf through the Ofgem website
The total amount of the grant will be waived off from the amount you pay for the installation
Ofgem will contact you to confirm that the installer is proceeding after your approval. The professional team will pay a visit to your property to check the installation or contact you by phone.
MCS will contact you to confirm other details for further proceeding
Signs Your Boiler Needs an Upgrade
You might be thinking why upgrade a boiler when everything is working perfectly?
There are several signs that warn you about upgrading your boiler before it stops working once and for all.
Even if there are fewer breakages, you seriously need to consider upgrading your boiler, if it is 15 years old or more.
Another reason to upgrade is when you see a whooping rise in bills over time as old boilers are less energy efficient than the newer ones.
Let’s take a look at various signs that tell you when to replace your boiler.
Age of Your Boiler?
The first thing you need to check is the age of your boiler. The older it is the less efficient it will be. As mentioned earlier, if your boiler is 15 years old or more, you need to replace it immediately. Don’t take it too easy if your boiler is working fine because in the end, you will suffer by paying hefty energy bills.
Signs of Corrosion on Boiler
Wear and tear is normal for any boiler over time. The most visible sign that lets you know your boiler needs an upgrade is when you notice corrosion on its body. Although the body of the boiler is made of material that is corrosion-resistant. However, leaks and damage to the body of the boiler can lead to corrosion.
Make sure to get it checked by professionals annually to avoid further breakages. Moreover, it is also beneficial if you want to keep your boiler running for several years. A little investment annually will help you save much of your savings.
Like any other machinery, you need to take care of your boiler to ensure durability and long-lastingness. Even if your boiler is doing its job i.e. heating your home, you still need to take efficiency into consideration.
Ask yourself how much time does it take to warm up the room as compared to the past. If it takes longer, the efficiency is reduced. In addition, if your energy bills are surging every month, you seriously need to consider upgrading your boiler instead of waiting further.
Maintenance and Repair Cost Surges
If you have to spend much on repairs and maintenance every month or two, you seriously need to upgrade your existing boiler.
The cost of repair and maintenance is mind-blowing.
Spending too much on repairs and maintenance would lead to exhausting your savings.
If you have to invest your money in the maintenance and repair of the boiler, it’s a warning sign to replace your boiler immediately.
Boiler Making Noises
Boiler systems generally produce sound that is not too bad. However, there are some noises that should not be ignored at all. If the intensity of noise has increased or you feel the change in sound every now and then, you seriously need to upgrade your boiler immediately. Generally these sounds are indications of blockage, pressure issues, or leakages. It is better to get it checked by a professional for better insight.
Leakages in Boiler
Leakages are another sign of replacing your old boiler with a new one. Whenever you see a visible leakage, call a professional to take a look. The leakages can cause serious disruption in efficiency and heating. Replace your old boiler with a new one and get yourself equipped with a reliable, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly boiler.
Heating is Not Effective
One of the signs you should watch out for is when the rooms take longer to heat up. In some cases, there might be varying temperatures at different times of the day. If that is the case with your boiler, just wait no longer and apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
In this post, we have discussed what is a boiler upgrade scheme, how to apply for a boiler upgrade scheme, and the eligibility criteria. Moreover, we also revealed some of the signs that indicate when you should consider upgrading your boiler.