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HAVE YOUR SAY TODAY – Government Consultation on Changes to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme

As trade professionals, your voice matters as the government finetunes its strategy to decarbonise the UK. With potential changes to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) around the corner, this is the opportunity to have your say in how the government proceeds on topics that affect your industry. Read more about the proposals now in consultation and how to have your say before the deadline of 12th October 2023.

 

Overview of the BUS consultation

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is seeking your views on policy proposals and amendments to the existing BUS, launched in 2022 which has already issued £81million in vouchers and is being extended to 2028.

The scheme makes grants available to support the installation of heat pumps and biomass boilers in homes and non-domestic buildings in England and Wales, to reach the government target of 600,000 heat pump installs a year by 2028.

As an overview, the government seeks views on the following topics during this consultation:

  • Whether it should be able to differentiate grant levels based on the property circumstances.
  • Whether to retain or amend the existing EPC requirements.
  • Whether biomass boilers with a cooking function included should be eligible under the scheme.

 

Key Topics in Detail:

Differentiating grant levels

 

The problem

Even with grant support, the upfront cost of heat pump installation is still a barrier for some property owners, such as those with oil heating over gas, where the cost to upgrade would be greater.

The proposal

The government suggests being able to vary the grant amount depending on factors like fuel type.

How can you help?

  1. Do you agree with the proposal to allow potential differentiation of grant levels for different types of property or property owner within the BUS regulations?

 

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements

 

The problem

Whilst the current heat pump eligibility requirements are centred around EPC certificates, to ensure that grants are only issued to owners of properties suitable for heat pump installations, the current use of EPC ratings and associated insulation requirements for a heat pump installation are a barrier to upgrading for some households and contribute to misconception about the cost of heat pump insulation.

The proposal

Either retain or amend the current requirements to have a valid EPC with no outstanding recommendations relating to loft or cavity wall insulation, to make it simpler, easier and faster for households to be eligible for heat pumps grants.

How can you help?

  1. Should the government maintain the current requirement for a valid EPC with no changes to the requirements for loft or cavity wall insulation? Yes/No and please provide evidence to support your answer.
  2. If you consider EPC requirements to be a barrier to heat pump uptake, what specifically do you consider to be a solution?
    1. Requirement to have a valid EPC
    2. Requirements to have a valid EPC with no outstanding recommendations relating to loft or cavity wall insulation
    3. Other, please specify. Please provide evidence to support your selection.
  3. If the government retains the EPC requirements, are there any potential changes we could make to ease the consumer journey without risking heat pumps being installed in unsuitable properties? For example, allowing the submission of an expired EPC with no recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation.

 

Biomass boilers with a cooking function

 

The problem

Some biomass boilers have a cooking function that can be controlled separately from the heating function in a property, and therefore a grant provided to support installation of a biomass boiler could be supporting a cooking function rather than heating, which is the key aim of the scheme and its funding.

The proposal

Amend the regulations to allow for biomass boilers to be eligible if they have a cooking function, but only if the cooking function is integrated into the whole property heating system and cannot be controlled separately from the heating function.

How can you help?

  1. Should the government allow biomass boilers with a cooking function provided the cooking function is integrated and cannot be controlled separately to the heating function of the property? Yes/No and please provide evidence to support your answer.

 

How to send your feedback

Respond online: Proposed amendments to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme Regulations - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Deadline: 12th October 2023

Or, send your answers to: boilerupgradescheme@energysecurity.gov.uk

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