What is the Boiler Scrappage Scheme?

The boiler scrappage scheme follows on from the UK government’s recent initiative on car scrappage. It’s a scheme to encourage people with older, low efficiency boilers to invest in newer, more efficient models. The incentive is a £400 cheque towards the cost. To be able to qualify for the scheme, which started in January 2010, you need to have a boiler that is G rated on the efficiency scale. Boilers that are around 15 years old or a bit younger but that still have a fixed pilot light that is on all the time are likely to be eligible.

Why Have a Boiler Scrappage Scheme?

The motivation behind boiler scrappage is to do with the government’s need to meet targets on the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Domestic heating via gas boilers produces around 14 per cent of all the carbon dioxide emissions produced over the whole of the UK, which is a huge amount. Cutting this by just a few percent would make a very significant difference and allow progress towards the targets for the UK.

Who is the Scrappage Scheme Aimed at?

As the government is intending to provide money towards the cost of replacing some household boilers, the plan is to target the households that have the lowest efficiency boilers at the moment. These are the G rated boilers were mentioned earlier. While the rough guide outlined at the start of this article is a starting point, you can now check your actual boiler efficiency using lists on various websites to check that it is, in fact, G rated, before you make an application for the scrappage payment. The Government Boiler Efficiency Database is probably the best one to search. If you can’t find out that way, you can ask a gas installer to check your boiler and give you a statement of its efficiency rating.

Around 125 000 households are thought to be eligible and, after you have submitted an online application, which needs to include the name and address of the installer you have commissioned to do the work, you may get a cash back voucher. This can be redeemed when you have the installation done. There are going to be spot checks to test the efficiency boilers in randomly chosen applications to try to reduce fraud.

What Can you Use the Money For?

You can take the voucher and use it against the cost of a new boiler but this has to be an A-rated boiler, gas, oil or LPG powered, or it must be environmentally friendly. Solar thermal systems are included if they are done at the same time as replacing the main boiler in the house. You cannot redeem the voucher against the cost of buying any sort of electric boiler.

How Far Will £400 Go?

Actually, not very far. When you get a new boiler, the cost of the actual boiler is only a fraction of the total cost of having the new system fitted and connected. As a recent example, a boiler that was G-rated that was removed from an older property cost £4000 in total. This included removal of the old boiler, the new pipe work and tank necessary to put a more efficient boiler in place, and the cost of the 4 days labour to carry out the work. For that replacement, the £400 voucher provided an overall 10% discount on the overall price but the householder still had to meet the remaining 90%.

Will the New Boiler Pay for Itself?

Undoubtedly, a new, more efficient boiler will make a difference to your heating bills, but don’t expect to see a massive reduction. Adding new insulation and carrying out other work to increase the overall efficiency of your heating is a good idea – but costs even more money. Bearing in mind that fuel prices are set to continue to increase, you may be able to afford a curry with the money you save, but perhaps not the cost of a 2-week holiday in the Sun!