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Proposed amendments to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme: Consultation Response


The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) recently announced a public consultation on the proposed amendments to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. This consultation closes today, and Elmhurst was pleased to respond on behalf of its members.

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What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme was introduced in 2022 to support the decarbonisation of heat in buildings. Under the scheme, individuals in England and Wales can benefit from upfront capital grants, which reduce the installation cost of heat pumps and bio mass boilers.

Changes were recently announced with regard to the level of funding a successful applicant would receive. From 23 October 2023, the grant level for air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps will increase from £5,000 (air source) and £6,000 (ground source) to £7,500.

Consultation Overview:

The Consultation is seeking views on the following proposed changes:

  1. Whether the scheme should be able to differentiate grant levels in different circumstances.
  2. Whether the scheme should retain or amend the existing EPC requirements, with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation.
  3. Are the EPC requirements a barrier for uptake?
  4. Whether the scheme should allow biomass boilers with a cooking function to be eligible.

Elmhurst’s Response Summary:

  • Whilst Elmhurst welcomes the ongoing support that the Government is giving towards low carbon heating systems, we feel that it is crucial to ensure the optimum outcome of such systems using a ‘fabric first’ approach.
  • We support the idea of differing grant levels based on property type, fuel source or property owners as long as this does not disadvantage any applicants. Any changes need to be made upfront to ensure the right measures go in for the good of the occupiers.
  • We have always argued that the validity period of an EPC is too long. In this scenario, we would recommend that a pre-install EPC is no more than three years old to ensure its accuracy.
  • In response to whether the EPC is a barrier to uptake, we do not feel this is the case. The EPC is there for a purpose and should be used to monitor the eligibility requirements, ensuring that heat pumps are only installed in suitably insulated properties.
  • We believe that an expired EPC should not be used to validate an installation or any type of funding, as it may be outdated and irrelevant to the property at the time.

For more information on the consultation, please click the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposed-amendments-to-the-boiler-upgrade-scheme-regulations

The consultation closes at 11:59pm on 12 October 2023.