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January 2, 2024

How Can The Boiler Upgrade Scheme Benefit Me?

boiler upgrade scheme

Is it time for you to replace your household’s heating system? Then why not consider opting for an alternative low carbon heating system. Whether you choose to adopt an air or ground source heat pump or a biomass boiler, each solution will offer you new ways to save money on your energy bills whilst also improving your household’s carbon footprint.

In this article we will discuss: what the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is, the low carbon heating systems it includes and the pros and cons relating to each option, the corresponding eligibility criterias, and how much the scheme can save you. Let Effective Home guide you through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme today.

 

What Is The Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

Also known as BUS, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is an initiative started by the UK government. The scheme provides residents in England and Wales with grants to help them install either an air source heat pump, ground source heat pump, or a biomass boiler.

BUS was initially launched in April of 2022, with the aim of reducing the carbon emissions created by residential properties in the UK. Additionally, the government hopes the scheme will help the country reach its 2050 net zero goals.

In October of 2023, the amount of money available through the scheme was increased from £5,000 to £7,500.

 

What Is An Air Source Heat Pump?

Air source heat pumps work by absorbing heat from the outdoors, extracting that heat, and then transferring it indoors. The technology can still work even during the winter months, making it a reliable source of heat all year round.

Additionally, air source heat pumps are a renewable and sustainable energy source that can help you reduce your carbon footprint. If you are currently reliant on a fuel-powered generator, heat pumps are renowned for being significantly quieter.

 

Pros and cons of air source heat pumps
Pros Cons
Reduce your carbon footprint. Low efficiency level.
Easy installation process, low maintenance once installed, and has a long lifespan. Can be louder than their ground source counterparts.
Save on your energy bills. You may have to install underfloor heating.
Multi-tasking technology. Can be used to heat and cool your home, and can also produce hot water. To maximise the effectiveness of an air source heat pump, your property will already need to be well insulated.

 

What Is A Ground Source Heat Pump?

Similar to their air source counterparts, ground source heat pumps utilise the air from the outdoors to heat up your home. However, the ground variety works by extracting the low temperature found in the ground around your home, which is then compressed into a higher temperature. This is then used to heat your home. Similar to air source heat pumps, the ground variety can also be used all year round.

 

Pros and cons of ground source heat pumps
Pros Cons
Minimises your carbon footprint. High installation costs.
Reduces your energy bills, and can increase your property value. The efficiency level of ground source heat pumps can be lower due to the type of soil surrounding your home.
Ground source heat pumps require a minimum amount of maintenance once installed. Difficult to install, could take longer than other low carbon heating systems.
Provides both heating and cooling temperatures inside your home.
Limited noise pollution.

 

What Is A Biomass Boiler?

Out of the three low carbon heating systems available through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, biomass boilers are probably the most familiar. Similar to the conventional boiler that probably heats your home today, a biomass boiler uses fuel to boost the temperature of your property. However, unlike your everyday boiler, biomass boilers use sustainable alternatives rather than fossil fuels. They will still work to heat your home and produce hot water, but a biomass boiler will use one of the three following types of sustainable fuel:

  • Wood chips.
  • Wood logs.
  • Wood pellets. 

 

Pros and cons of biomass boilers
Pros Cons
Renewable energy source. Biomass boilers require a lot of space.
Highly efficient. High initial costs.
Biomass fuel options are cheaper than fossil fuels which will protect you from price increases. Installation of biomass boilers can be location dependent meaning not everyone has a home that’s suitable for them.

 

Am I Eligible For The Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

Like with any government grant, you must be eligible to receive any financial aid. However, unique to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, you must fulfil two levels of eligibility. One which ensures you are eligible for the scheme as a whole, with the second then determining which low carbon heating system you will receive.

 

To ensure you are eligible for the scheme you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You must live in either England or Wales.
  2. You must own the property you’re applying for.
  3. You must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that has no outstanding recommendations relating to loft or cavity wall insulation.

 

Now that you have determined whether you are eligible for the scheme, the next two sections will help you determine which low carbon heating system you are eligible for.

 

Am I Eligible For Either An Air Or Ground Source Heat Pump?

In order to receive financial aid to help you purchase either a new air source or ground source heat pump, the pump itself:

  • Must have been commissioned either on or after the 1st April 2022.
  • Must fully replace a fossil fuel powered heating system.
  • Must fulfil the heating and hot water demand of your household.
  • Cannot exceed 45kWth.

 

Am I Eligible For A Biomass Boiler?

Whereas if you wish to apply for financial aid to help you install a biomass boiler, you must:

 

  • Live off of the National Grid.
  • Live in a rural location.
  • Ensure you have an emissions certificate proving that you are limiting any polluting emissions.

 

How Much Funding Is Available Through The Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

The amount of money available through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme depends upon the type of energy efficiency measure you wish to purchase. As we have already mentioned, the amount of money available through the scheme was increased in 2023, from £5,000 to £7,500. You can now receive the following financial aid depending on the type of low carbon heating system you wish to adopt:

 

  • Air source heat pumps: You can now receive £7,500 towards cost and installation.
  • Ground source heat pumps: You can now receive £7,500 towards cost and installation.
  • Biomass boiler: You can now receive £5,000 towards cost and installation.

 

If you have already purchased your low carbon heating system, but have yet to have it installed, you can cancel your initial grant. Then you can reapply for the increased amount.

 

How Much Money Can I Save Through The Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

The amount of money that you can save through utilising the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is solely dependent on the low carbon heating system you opt to adopt. Additionally, the price of the supplier you choose to install your new heating system may also change your final price. However, the scheme aims to offer the following percentage savings:

 

  • Save 60% on the cost and installation of your air source heat pump.
  • Save 25% on the cost and installation of your ground source heat pump.
  • Save 60% on the cost and installation of your biomass boiler.

 

Clearly, the air source heat pump and biomass boiler offer the greatest saving, which is further evidenced in the table below:

 

How much money can I save by applying for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
Low carbon heating system Average cost without BUS Average cost with BUS
Air source heat pump £13,000 £5,500
Ground source heat pump £21,000 £13,500
Biomass boiler £12,500 £7,500

 

The figures listed in the table above are only present for guidance. If you are looking for more specific costs that would relate to your own low carbon heating system, why not get in touch with Effective Home today.

Boiler Upgrade Scheme Summary

Now that you know all about the UK’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme, are you ready to become more environmentally friendly and upgrade your home’s heating system? We understand that changing your household’s heating system can seem like a daunting task, especially during this period of financial uncertainty and with the cost of living crisis hanging over everyone’s head.

But we believe that opting for one of these low carbon heating systems can not only save you money, but improve your home and help you become more environmentally friendly to boot.

In the summary table below, we have included each of the three heating systems we’ve discussed as well as the important cost saving information and each measures eligibility criteria:

 

What funding can I receive from the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
Low carbon heating system Financial aid available BUS percentage saving Eligibility criteria
Air source heat pump Up to £7,500 Up to 60% Your heat pump:

  • Must have been commissioned either on or after the 1st April 2022.
  • Must fully replace a fossil fuel powered heating system.
  • Must fulfil the heating and hot water demand of your household.
  • Must not exceed 45kWth.
Ground source heat pump Up to £7,500 Up to 25%
Biomass boiler Up to £5,000 Up to 60% You must:

  • Live off of the National Grid.
  • Live in a rural location.
  • Ensure you have an emissions certificate proving that you are limiting polluting emissions.

 

Are you ready to use an alternative low carbon heating system? If so, and you want further guidance on which heating system will be best suited to you, why not get in touch with Effective Home? We will put you in contact with our experts who will be able to point you in the right direction.

Let's calculate how much you can save

Justine Effective
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