Boiler Upgrade Scheme applications increased in April

  • Applications have increased by 93% compared to April 2023
  • The average monthly applications are up 49%
  • The jump in applications has been driven by supplier offers
  • From 8 May, you no longer need a cavity wall or loft insulation
Installer and male customer looking at at phone app in front of Aira heat pump outdoor unit

The number of applications for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) increased by 93% in April 2024, compared to February 2023, new government data has revealed. 

The average monthly applications among families in England and Wales between November and April are up 49%, to 2,136 applications compared to 1,435, which was the monthly average before grants were increased. 

According to the government, the jump in applications is being driven by offers from energy suppliers, which can make some heat pump installations a similar price to fitting a gas boiler, and the introduction of cheaper electricity tariffs – reducing running costs.

The BUS offers upfront grants to reduce the installation cost of low-carbon heating technology, including £7,500 for air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps and £5,000 for biomass boilers in domestic and non-domestic buildings in England and Wales. 

Energy and net zero secretary Claire Coutinho MP, said: “The latest numbers from our BUS show that for more and more families, the switch to a heat pump is starting to make financial sense. 

“Our plan is to give families a helping hand, rather than forcing them to make expensive changes before they are ready. That’s why we increased the support available through the scheme to £7,500”

From 8 May 2024, the government introduced new guidance meaning that homeowners will no longer be required to install cavity wall or loft insulation in order to qualify for the scheme. The update to the scheme could save consumers up to £2,500 on the upfront costs of an installation. 

The change is aimed at removing a significant barrier to heat pump adoption and to accelerate the UK’s transition away from natural gas boilers, in line with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) policy. 

Homeowners will also now be eligible for the scheme, even if there are outstanding insulation recommendations on their property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

The application increase is fuelled by offers from energy suppliers, which can make some heat pump installations a similar price to fitting a gas boiler, and the introduction of cheaper electricity tariffs – reducing running costs. 

Grants for heat pumps increased by 50% in October 2023 as part of the government’s plan for a pragmatic approach to reaching net zero, making the BUS one of the most generous of its kind in Europe. 

Lord Callanan, minister for energy efficiency and green finance, said: “A 93% increase in applications year-on-year in April shows our decision to increase grants for heat pumps was the right one, making it easier for households to switch to cleaner heating. 

“Heat pumps are three times more efficient than gas boilers and more people are enjoying the benefits, without larger upfront costs”. 

Data released by Ofgem shows there have been more 40,000 applications in total, with the scheme having paid out over 25,000 grants, with more than £148m issued. 

Written by:
Tamara Birch, senior writer, The Eco Experts
Tamara has written about environmental topics for more than four years. This includes advising small business owners on cost-effective ways, like solar panels and energy-efficient products to help them become more sustainable. 
Reviewed by:
Max joined The Eco Experts as content manager in February 2024. He has written about sustainability issues across numerous industries, including maritime, supply chain, finance, mining and retail. He has also written for  City AM, The Morning Star and the Daily Express.
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