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Controversial Boiler Upgrade Scheme to be scrutinised by politicians

The controversial Boiler Upgrade Scheme - which Propertymark say is so complex many people don’t think it’s worth applying to - is to be scrutinised by the House of Lords tomorrow.

The scheme provides grants for the installation of low-carbon heating systems in domestic and small non-domestic properties; home owners in England and Wales grants of £5,000 towards the cost of an air source heat pump, £6,000 for a ground source heat pump, and £5,000 for a biomass boiler.

However, according to the independent Energy Saving Trust depending on the size of the property and heat pump required the average cost is up to £13,000 to buy and install.


Tomorrow the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee will continue its inquiry into scheme by hearing evidence from representatives from the Octopus and Ovo energy companies, as well as heat pump suppliers. 

The questions the committee is likely to ask include: How well do heat pumps perform in a real-world environment? What are the pros and cons of the current design and administration of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme? What do you see to be the role of energy suppliers in the transition to low-carbon home heating? And what is the pipeline of new certified installers and assessors? And what needs to be done to ensure the workforce is in place to meet the Government’s 2028 target for 600,000 heat pump installations?

Last month a Propertymark survey of member agents found that 25 per cent said their landlords felt the application process was too lengthy and complicated considering what they perceived to be a small grant; and 29 per cent said their landlords would be willing to use the scheme when the size of the grant covered more of the installation cost.

Meanwhile 73 per cent said their landlords did not apply due to the amount of funding available compared to the overall cost of retrofitting a rented property.

Propertymark wants the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to increase the size of the grant, expand on the type of low carbon heating systems it could be used for, and to develop a national marketing strategy to build awareness of the scheme. It also wants to see a new grant scheme that provides funding based on the individual energy efficiency requirements of each home.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns for Propertymark, says: “The UK Government will need to seriously rethink its strategy to decarbonise housing if we are to get anywhere close to supporting homeowners and meeting the proposed targets for the private rented sector.

“Our member feedback shows that current levels of support provided by the UK Government does not meet the costs of installing low carbon heating systems, meaning that few agents and their customers are willing to engage with support programmes. This is especially concerning given the rising cost of energy for landlords, tenants and homeowners. 

“Fundamentally a more comprehensive support programme or an alternative solution that encourages more homes to become energy efficient is needed.”

  • Barry X

    All part of the deeply flawed ideological obsession for which Landlords are made to pay in every which way (and never actually "helped" or "supported" despite all the pious & pompous claims of government - so don't be fooled) while politicians take the credit for "de-carbonising" properties/the nation/the planet/whatever... and of course "de-carbonising" is also a meaningless, utterly unscientific part of this ideological, quasi-religious obsession.

    No surprises and nothing new here.

  • icon

    This is likely to be another PPI and Diesel class action at some point, as air/ground source heat pumps simply won't work in a vast number of properties, meaning that people will then have to supplement the heating of their homes with additional heaters rendering the whole exercise as completely pointless and expensive.


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