In 2022, the UK government announced a new initiative titled the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). The aim of this scheme is to provide grants to property owners to help them to install low-carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the UK’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme. We explain what it is, how much funding is available and how you can apply for a grant.
What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is the latest UK government initiative to offer financial support for low-carbon heating solutions. Supporting the aim to decarbonise the use of heat in buildings, it is part of the wider goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
It provides upfront capital grants to support the installation of heat pumps in households and small businesses across England and Wales.
It allows you to upgrade your current inefficient heating and hot water systems to the more energy-efficient alternatives, heat pumps. The scheme will run until 2028, having been recently extended, with a budget of £1,950 million.
If you’re a homeowner, then an installer can act on your behalf to apply for a grant under the scheme. We will discuss exactly what funding is available to you in the next section.
If you’re an installer, then take a look at our extensive information on the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and what it means for you.
What funding is available through the scheme?
Under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, you can get one grant per property. You can receive up to £7,500 off the upfront installation cost of your chosen low-carbon system, which is applied for by an installer on your behalf. This amount will be deducted from the total cost of the installation.
You’re entitled to claim for the following:
- £7,500 towards an air source heat pump
- £7,500 towards a ground source heat pump (including water source heat pumps and those on shared ground loops)
The system you choose to install must meet certain standards. To be eligible for the grant, it must have a seasonal coefficient of performance (SCOP) of at least 2.8 and its maximum capacity must be less than 45kWth.
How can you apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
As of the 23rd of May 2022, applications and payments for the scheme have been accepted. It will run until 2028. Initially, the scheme was running until 2025, but this has recently been extended to 2028, so you have plenty of time to make the most of the grants and make the switch to a heat pump.
Am I eligible?
In order to be eligible for a grant, you must meet the following criteria:
- Live in England or Wales
- Own the property you’re applying for (including if it’s a business, a second home or a property you rent out to tenants)
- Have installed your new heating system on or after the 1st of April 2022
- Be replacing fossil fuel heating systems (such as oil, gas or electric)
You’re also still able to apply for a grant if you have already received funding previously to make your property more energy efficient. For example, if you have received a grant for insulating your home.
In terms of your property, there are some additional requirements that you’ll need to consider. This includes having a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with no recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation: Find out what to do if your property has recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation here.
You also won’t be able to get funding for:
- The majority of new build properties unless you are self-building and you are the original owner or you have recently moved into a new build which has fossil fuel heating.
- Social housing
- A property that’s already been given government funding for a heat pump or biomass boiler
- New build properties which the developer is still building
- Replacing a low carbon heating system.
If you own a self-built property, then you’ll need to ensure that you or the original owner built the property or paid a builder to do so. It must have also never been owned by a business or organisation. In all cases, you’ll need to show proof to your installer before applying for a grant.
You can find out more information about Boiler Upgrade Scheme eligibility on the government website.
How to apply: step-by-step process
Applications to the scheme are only available to Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited renewables installers and are conducted through Ofgem. If you meet the criteria we have listed above, then you’re ready to contact an MCS-accredited installer and follow the process below.
Boiler Upgrade Scheme FAQs
What are the benefits of a heat pump?
There are many benefits associated with getting a heat pump installed, including lower energy bills, a reduction in your carbon footprint, high levels of efficiency, low maintenance and so much more. Contact NIBE today to be put in touch with the best installer for you.
Is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme worth it?
If you’re considering getting a heat pump installed, then yes, checking your eligibility for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and applying is definitely worthwhile. It could help to save you a substantial amount of money on the initial installation cost.
What’s the difference between the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and RHI?
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was a previous government scheme that came to an end in March 2022. Under this scheme, homeowners paid the full up-front cost and then being paid back for every kwH of renewable heating they used. Alternatively, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers an upfront discount and has been introduced to replace the RHI.
What are the requirements for installers?
If you’re an installer, then make sure you check out our Boiler Upgrade Scheme for installers page here. This includes extensive information about requirements and the application process.
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