Boiler Upgrade Scheme

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a government-proposed scheme to deliver grants of up to £6,000 towards heat pump installations in UK households. The scheme, which was known as the Clean Heat Grant, is intended to replace the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) from April 2022 to March 2025.¹

Who is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme for?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is intended for households and small non-domestic buildings across the UK. The flat-rate grant has been proposed to help with the upfront cost of installing heat pumps to deliver space heating and hot water.

The grant will move away from the RHI’s tariff-based system for consumers.

Which heating systems will the grant cover?

Heat pump installations

The following types of heat pumps (high and low-temperature units) will be supported by the Boiler Upgrade Scheme:

Eligible installations must have a heat pump capacity less or equal to 45kW, limiting the support to smaller installations. Shared ground loop arrays are allowed, subject to a “total system capacity” limit of 45kW.

Biomass installations

The government’s plan to drive down the cost of clean heat also states that, in limited scenarios where properties are not deemed suitable for heat pumps, the grant could support biomass installations.

However, this is only when absolutely necessary. Both government and the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) states that heat pumps offer the greatest potential for heat decarbonisation.2

Read more on the plans

What is the aim of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

By supporting consumers through the scheme, the government aims to address the barrier of upfront costs of low-carbon technologies, to help the UK meet its 2050 net-zero emissions target. The scheme will provide targeted support following the RHI which closes in March 2022.

The Heat and Buildings Strategy

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is part of a bigger Heat and Buildings Strategy, published in October 2021. The idea of the strategy is to decarbonise the UK’s heat and phase out high-carbon fossil fuel installations in the 2020s for off-gas properties.

Will the grant replace the Domestic RHI?

Yes. According to government, the scheme will allow transition from the Domestic RHI. The Domestic RHI was extended to 31st March 2022; the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is proposed to take its place from April 2022.

Domestic RHI & Boiler Upgrade Scheme: Differences

The existing Domestic RHI is paid to consumers through a tariff system, usually over seven years. For a typical project, you could expect to receive around £28,000. This differs from the proposed flat-rate funding of the £6,000 Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

Which systems will not be covered?

Support will be available to installations providing space and water heating in buildings, but the scheme excludes:

  • Process heating
  • Biogas combustion
  • Solar thermal
  • Hybrid heat pump systems
  • Heat networks with a “total system capacity” greater than 45kW.