The Boiler Upgrade Scheme CHG

Government Slated Over The Boiler Upgrade Scheme

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme launched last year in May was open to landlords and homeowners is falling far short of its objectives.

The claim is made by the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee which says there has been little take up of grants for the scheme and because of the government’s target to reduce emissions from homes it must now immediately rethink its strategy.

In the committee’s letter, sent to Lord Callanan the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, it warns that if the current rate of take up  continues then less than 50 per cent of the allocated funding will be used to switch homeowners to use low carbon heating measures.

It will also mean that numbers of manufacturers and installers will not be available to provide and fit enough low carbon heating products to meet the government’s 2028 target of 600,000 installations per year.

The Committee criticises the government’s attempts to engage public perceptions and awareness of heat pumps and the BUS scheme’s promotions are severely lacking; numbers of heat pump installers is too low as well as insufficient independent advice for homeowners.

It also highlights the problem of high upfront costs despite the grant for homeowners and therefore so many low income households will not be able to take advantage of the scheme. It also recommends the government must introduce some type of electricity market reform as energy costs are prohibitive.

The committee calls for the government to provide greater clarity to consumers and the industry on the best options for low carbon heating with a consistent policy framework, better engagement with the public and must extend the BUS budget into the second year.

It says the government must quickly ““correct the Energy Performance Certificates methodology so that certificates properly reward households for making the switch to low-carbon heating and flawed EPC recommendations cease being a barrier to Boiler Upgrade Scheme eligibility.”

The committee also recommends the government to relax the requirement used  for Permitted Development Rights to site a heat pump in relation to neighbouring homes.

Baroness Parminter, chair of the Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee, says: “The transition to low-carbon heat is fundamental in the path to net zero, given that 17 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from our homes.??

“The government must quickly address the barriers we have identified to a successful take-up of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme in order to help grow the take up of low-carbon heating systems. It is vital they do so if we are going to meet our Net Zero ambitions.”

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