Government has announced plans for a new initiative known as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (previously referred to as the Clean Heat Grant). The hope is that the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will incentivise people to install low-carbon heating systems in a simple, fair, and cheap way as they replace their old boilers over the next decade.
What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme looks to reduce the cost of low carbon heating technologies, such as heat pumps, so that they are more affordable for consumers to buy and run. Working with industry, Government wants to ensure that in the future low carbon heating technologies are no more expensive than fossil fuel boilers.
The Scheme applies to homes and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales with an installation capacity of up to 45kWth. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme will provide financial support for the installation of air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and, in limited circumstances, biomass boilers.
Please note, biomass boilers will only be supported in rural locations and in properties that are not connected to the gas grid.
Ofgem has published guidance for property owners. You can access this by clicking here.
What is available for consumers through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme is set to see households benefit from Government grants. The following grants will be available:
- £5,000 for air source heat pumps and biomass boilers
- £6,000 for ground source heat pumps
The Scheme will be available for 3 years and grants will be available from Spring 2022.
- 1st April 2022 – Commissioning date – Eligible low carbon heating systems that are commissioned on or after this date will be entitled to support under the scheme.
- 11th April 2022– Account Creation Opens – This enables installers to open an account for the scheme. At this stage businesses will be verified upfront and once an account is set up they will not need to go through this process again. This will make applying for vouchers a smoother process. Creating an account will allow installers to receive an account ID which will need to be submitted for each BUS voucher application as well as add additional users for the organisation. Only MCS certified installers will be eligible to create an account and apply for BUS vouchers, as a part of the account creation process, installers will need to provide their MCS number. To find out more about the account creation process, please click here.
- 23rd May 2022 – Voucher Applications Open – Installers will be able to apply for vouchers for grants from this date. They will also be able to redeem them and receive payment once they provide evidence of commissioning.
What does Government set out to achieve with the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is designed to help work toward Government’s ambition of all new heating systems installed in UK homes from 2035 to be low carbon heating. It will support low carbon heat technologies in up to 90,000 homes and buildings across England and Wales.
Additionally, the Scheme is set to support up to 240,000 jobs across the UK by 2035.
How do you apply to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The voucher application will be installer-led and consist of 2 stages.
Stage one: Pre-installation
1. The installer must receive instruction from the homeowner to carry out the installation and to apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
2. The installer will apply for a voucher and undergo eligibility checks. The installer will also have to supply information about the technology type, the property owner’s postcode and contact details.
3. Ofgem will then contact the homeowner to confirm their consent.
4. Ofgem will assess the application and once satisfied and have received consent from the homeowner, a voucher will be issued to the installer.
Stage two: Post-installation
1. The installer will complete the installation.
2. The installer will provide evidence of the installation to redeem the voucher. Ofgem will assess the redemption voucher.
3. Ofgem will pay the grant to the installer. Ofgem intend to make a payment to the installer for the amount associated with the redeemed voucher within a week of notification that the application has been successful.
Getting Started with BUS
If you still need to create a BUS installer account for your business, see: Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) – Sign up and apply | Ofgem
If you need to be added as a user to your business’s installer account, talk to the person in your business who created the account.
Start Your Boiler Upgrade Scheme Application
Make a voucher redemption application
Please note information around the Boiler Upgrade Scheme can change therefore we recommend you visit Ofgem website for the latest information.
Installers who wish to apply to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme must meet certain requirements, such as:
- The installer must be MCS certified
- The installer must be a member of a Consumer Code (such as HIES)
Installers must provide evidence of MCS certification at the voucher application stage and MCS certificates will need to be submitted by the installer when a voucher is redeemed.
Installers must inform Ofgem of any changes that are made to the application or the installation.
Please note that if a property has previously received funding under the RHI, Green Homes Grant, HUG, or any other Government subsidy for low carbon heat, the property will not be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
It is the installers obligation to ensure that they retain all information for 6 years.Enquire about HIES membership
Ofgem has released a guidance document to help installers who wish to take part in the BUS scheme understand the requirements. You can access this by clicking here
Installer account creation
Installers need to create an account for the Scheme. The account will allow installers to receive an account ID which will need to be submitted for each BUS voucher application as well as add additional users for the organisation. To find out more about the account creation process, please click here. To begin creating the account, please download the PDF here.
What are the eligibility requirements for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
There are eligibility requirements for consumers and installers to access the Boiler Upgrade Scheme which are as follows:
• The commissioning date must be after 1st April 2022 – an MCS certificate with the commissioning date on will be required as evidence
• Installers must be MCS certified
• Systems must meet the full heating and hot water requirements of the property – an MCS certificate and installer confirmation at voucher application stage will be required as evidence
• Air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps or biomass boilers where replacing fossil fuelled system are eligible for the grant – installers will need to declare this
• There is a 45kwth total capacity limit for a heat pump or biomass boiler – an MCS certificate with total installed capacity will be required as evidence
• Heat pumps must have a minimum seasonal coefficient of performance of 2.8
• Biomass boilers must have an emmissions certificate
• Biomass boilers can only be installed in rural areas and in properties not fuelled by mains gas
• The plant must be new at the time of installation – installers must confirm compliance with this requirement at application
• Heat pumps and biomass boilers must meet approved standards by secretary of state – a Product Eligibility List (PEL) will be required as evidence
• Domestic and non-domestic buildings are eligible including custom builds
• The EPC must be valid (no longer than 10 years old) and have no recommendations to install cavity wall insulation unless exempt
There are limited circumstances where the EPC requirement doesn’t apply, such as where there are exemptions. Some of these are as follows:
• Applications may be made for properties with loft or cavity wall insulation recommendations, as long as the insulation is installed prior to the voucher being redeemed
• Custom build properties won’t be required to provide a valid EPC since they are subject to the latest building regulations with respect to building fabric efficiency