Boiler Upgrade Scheme applications jump by 26% in May

  • The Boiler Upgrade Scheme has paid 26,929 grants since its creation in April 2022
  • The average cost of installing an air source ground pump is £13,000 in the UK 
  • The government is committed to installing 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028
Heat pumps outside a residential building

In October 2023, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant was increased from £5,000 to £7,500

Applications for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) increased by 26% month-on-month in May in a sign that more households are looking to cut bills by using the low-carbon technology. 

In May, the BUS received with 2,987 applications to install its low-carbon heating technologies, more than double what it received in May 2023, taking the total figure to 43,246 since it began in April 2022. In total, 96% of applications have been for air source heat pumps.

Gail Parker, low carbon homes director at Centrica New Business Net Zero, said the spike in applications shows that a “growing number of households are wanting to invest in low carbon heating.”

“As more market forces come into play to reduce the overall costs of running a heat pump, including cheaper tariffs like British Gas’ new Heat Pump tariff, the appetite for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will only continue to grow,” Parker explained.

Applications have been helped by amendments to the scheme such as increasing the grant from £5,000 to £7,500 in October 2023. 

Additionally from May 8 2024, homeowners were no longer required to install cavity wall or loft insulation to access the grant. 

By the end of January 2024, £113m worth of vouchers from the scheme were given to properties across England and Wales, amounting to 20,497 vouchers. 

The South East and South West regions of the UK have received the highest installation figures and the North East the fewest, following past trends. Wales contributed to a mere 6% of total grants.

Redemption applications had a 20% growth from April to May, with 1,779 applications. However, the scheme paid out 1,824 disbursements in May. 

The total number of grants paid since the BUS began is 26,929.

Demographically, the scheme primarily focuses on rural areas, at 56% of installations, and properties connected to the gas grid, at 55%.

The BUS covers both new and replacement installations. The majority are replacements of existing heating systems, including gas at 48% of replacements and oil at 20%. Eighteen per cent of installations involve properties that didn’t have previous heating systems. 

Claire Coutinho, energy security secretary, said: “We’ve already supported families by making our Boiler Upgrade Scheme one of the most generous in Europe and now we’re making heat pumps even cheaper and easier to install.

“This is all part of our wider plan to ensure we cut our emissions and make homes more energy efficient without burdening families with high costs.”

Written by:
Louise joined The Eco Experts as Editorial Assistant in April 2024. She is a talented artist who has a keen interest in solutions that lead to a more environmentally-friendly future.
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