Goodbye RHI, Hello Boiler Upgrade Scheme
What It Is, What You’ll Get, How to Apply
Even though we’ve had an extra year to take advantage of the domestic renewable heat incentive scheme (RHI), on the 31 March 2022 it will be gone for good. Don’t worry if you haven’t managed to apply for the RHI, because from April 2022 homeowners and landlords will be able to cash in on the government’s £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
In this guide we’ve taken a closer look at the new scheme, how to apply for it, how much you can save, and what it means for the environment.
What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
Initially known as the Clean Heat Grant, the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a replacement to the RHI. Simply it is a grant paid by the government to help homeowners upgrade their boiler to one that has lower carbon emissions.
How Does it Compare to the Renewable Heat Incentive?
Even though there is a lot to love about the RHI, the new grant is far simpler, and the upfront payment make it more appealing to anyone on a tighter budget. The RHI was paid out gradually for homes who installed ground source or air source heat pumps, as well as some approved biomass boilers and solar thermal heating systems. The criteria for approved systems, as well as approved installers was strict, and the government ‘payback’ was made based on a home’s EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) which calculated energy consumption on a home-by-home basis. Depending on your home and the type of system installed you could get quarterly payments over a seven-year period to potentially cover the entire cost of your new heating system.
Of course, for a lot of homeowners the initial payment is the hardest part. And while the RHI was more generous in the long term, the time it takes to get that money back meant it wasn’t an option for many homeowners.
With the Boiler Upgrade Scheme there will be a simple initial payment to help lower the cost of the installation for a qualifying low carbon heating system. The new scheme will pay a grant on ground source, air source and some qualifying water source heat pumps with a capacity of 45kW or less. The focus is on ‘normal’ homes, rather than commercial buildings and large-scale installations. Like the RHI, you’ll need a valid EPC and to use an approved installer.
How Much Will it Pay Out?
Over the life of this three-year scheme (2022 – 2025) the government has set aside £450 million. Grants of £5,000 will be paid out for qualifying installations, significantly cutting the cost of a new install as well as speeding up and simplifying the payment and claiming process.
The result will be a more environmentally friendly and more efficient system that costs about the same or less than a gas boiler.
What are the Environmental Benefits?
Heat pumps are not only more efficient than gas boilers and other ‘traditional’ heating systems, but far better for the environment. Both air source and ground source heating pumps use heat from outside (either the air or ground) to heat your home and produce lower carbon emissions than many alternative heating systems.
Even though the compressor unit (an integral part of the system) requires electricity to run, air source pumps have an energy efficiency of nearly 350% and ground source have an energy efficiency of 400%. That means for every unit of electrical energy you use to run the pump it will create up to 4 units of heat energy. Combine your system with a renewable energy source like solar, and you could have zero-carbon heating.
Should You Apply for The Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
If you’re thinking of getting a more efficient heating system that’s kinder to the environment, then YES. The total government funding of £450 million might sound generous, but it’s good to get in there early to ensure you don’t miss out. The upfront savings of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme make air-source and ground-source more affordable than ever.
Talk to the team at Trusted Energy who can help you with the paperwork and provide a free, no-commitment quote for an air or ground source heat pump.