Government will contribute £6,000 towards a ground source heat pump
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a government scheme administered by Ofgem delivering grants of up to £6,000 towards heat pump installations in UK households. Any remaining installation costs will then be paid by the property owner.
£450 million has been allocated to the scheme and the government will operate on a first-come, first-served basis for those who meet eligibility criteria. Around 90,000 homes are expected to benefit over three years.
The scheme runs from April 2022 to April 2025, was formerly known as the Clean Heat Grant and replaces the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which ended on 31st March 2022.
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.
However, this is only when absolutely necessary and only in rural areas, not urban populations. Both government and the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) state that heat pumps offer the greatest potential for heat decarbonisation.2
Support will be available to installations providing space and water heating in buildings, but the scheme excludes:
Hybrid (bivalent) heat pump systems
Heat networks with a “total system capacity” greater than 45kW
However, solar thermal systems can be installed as part of a heat pump system funded on the scheme, providing the heating system can meet the full space and water heating requirements.
Who is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme for?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is intended for households and small non-domestic buildings in England and Wales.
The flat-rate grant is designed to help with the cost of installing heat pumps to deliver full space heating and hot water, replacing existing fossil fuel systems, i.e. oil, gas or direct electric. The heat pumps must have a minimum SCOP of 2.8.
All applicants must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), issued within the last 10 years. If a property has an EPC or insulation exemption – for example, if it is a listed building, it may be eligible.
You can apply if you currently have loft or cavity wall insulation, but with a commitment to improving this, in order to be eligible.
Custom and self build homes will be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, as eco-friendly building regulations will have to have been complied with. Therefore custom and self builders will not have to provide an EPC to evidence insulation eligibility.
Who is not eligible?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is not available in Northern Ireland and Scotland, where separate funding schemes, such as Home Energy Scotland – are running.
Those replacing an existing low-carbon heating system are not eligible.
The scheme isn’t available for those in social housing and new-build properties.
Boiler Upgrade Scheme: details
Heat pump systems that are commissioned on or after 1st April will be entitled to apply for the support.
Installers can open an account for the scheme with Ofgem. A further consultation on 11th April will provide more details to installers.
The scheme opens for grant applications and payments on 23rd May.
Consumers interested in applying should register their interest with MCS-certified heat pump installers via Ofgem, who will then agree on a quote for the installation and apply for the grant on their behalf.
Ofgem will issue a grant voucher based on availability and if the eligibility criteria are met. Any outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation must be completed before the redemption of the funding can be sought.
The voucher will be valid for six months, during which time the installation must be completed and the heat pump commissioned by the certified installer. If the voucher expires, it can be applied for again, although allocation is made on a first-come, first-served basis.
The value of the grant is designed to aid to offset the cost of installation. Redeeming of the voucher will be led by the MCS-certified installer, who will confirm proof of the installation and process the completed paperwork. The installer will be responsible for ensuring that the value of the grant funding is passed on to the property owner to reduce the cost of the overall heat pump system installation.
Installers and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme
All of our heat pumps are MCS-accredited, and as an MCS-accredited installer, Kensa Heat Pumps will be facilitating the Boiler Upgrade Scheme under our current MCS Umbrella service.
Kensa’s MCS Umbrella service
Kensa’s MCS Umbrella Scheme offers vital support to both non-MCS & MCS-approved installers seeking expert advice & technical assistance with ground source heat pump installations.
What is MCS?
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is an accreditation process that demonstrates the quality of renewable technologies. A ground source heat pump installation is only MCS approved if it is designed, fitted and commissioned to the high standards of MCS criteria.
Every heat pump installation must be accredited under the MCS scheme for the installation to be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
Need an installer?
We will endeavour to recommend a Kensa-approved installer in your area. Alternatively, if you have an installer partner that you wish to work with, Kensa can support them through your installation.
By supporting consumers through the scheme, the government aims to make low-carbon technologies more affordable, encouraging their uptake to help the UK meet its 2050 net-zero emissions target. The scheme provides targeted support following the closure of the RHI in March 2022.
The Heat and Buildings Strategy
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is part of more than £3.9bn funding announced in the 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. The scheme will follow on from the Domestic RHI which closes on 31st March 2022; the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will run from April 2022 to April 2025.
Boiler Upgrade Scheme: Details
The Boiler Upgrade scheme provides a flat-rate £6,000 grant for those installing a ground source heat pump. This is in comparison to £5,000 for air source heat pumps or biomass.
You can still apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme if you’ve received separate funding for energy efficiency upgrades such as insulation, doors or windows.
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