London Boiler Cashback Scheme announced

shutterstock_19491907On 2nd February 2016, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, confirmed the details of a new boiler scrappage scheme which will offer a £400 subsidy to homeowners and landlords who upgrade their inefficient boilers to high efficiency models. This cashback scheme is being offered to residents in the Greater London area and is a welcome initiative to encourage the uptake of A-rated heating appliances.

To be eligible to claim a £400 voucher towards the cost of upgrading a new, high efficiency boiler, applicants must either own the property in which they live or be a private landlord who is accredited with the Mayor’s London Rental Standard. The product that an applicant wishes to replace must be a gas, LPG, oil or solid fuel boiler that is less than 70% efficient (SAP2005) which is in working order and is the main boiler used to the heat the home. Applicants whose property’s main heating source is an electric boiler/heater will not be eligible. Similarly, if an applicant’s current boiler is not working, an application for the subsidy will not be eligible. A full list of the eligibility criteria can be found here: Eligibility Criteria.

This cashback initiative is designed to move households away from low efficiency appliances and towards heating systems which are energy efficient, reducing emissions and offering householders lower fuel bills. When determining whether their current boiler is eligible, its efficiency rating must be ascertained: typically, a gas, LPG, solid fuel or oil fuelled boiler that is G-rated will be eligible. For example, an oil fired boiler that is over twenty-five years old is likely to be less than 70% efficient.

It is recommended that applicants then obtain a minimum of three quotations from accredited installers. Depending on the type of high efficiency replacement product being installed, the installer must be a member of the relevant competent persons scheme. For example, oil installers must be OFTEC registered or certified with HETAS; meanwhile, installers of renewable technologies must be MCS accredited. It is crucial that the installer who eventually fits the new product is accredited to the relevant certification body because their accreditation number will be required when applying for and claiming the £400 cashback.

Homeowners or private landlords wishing to benefit from the scheme must complete an online application form. The scheme is working on a first-come, first serve basis so, provided that funds are still available, successful applicants will receive an email that will confirm that a cashback voucher has been issued to them. The voucher will be valid for twelve weeks from the date of issue; therefore, applicants must ensure that they install the new boiler within this timeframe.

After receiving confirmation of their cashback voucher, applicants can proceed with the installation of their new high efficiency boiler. The replacement product must be an A-rated appliance with a minimum 90% efficiency rating (SAP2005). For example, the Grant Vortex Pro Kitchen/Utility oil-fired boilers have gross seasonal efficiencies of between 90.7%-93.3%. Some renewable technologies are also eligible including air source heat pumps (such as the Grant Aerona range) or solar thermal systems fitted with an eligible boiler replacement. Biomass boilers are not eligible.

Once the installation has been completed and paid for by the applicant, the £400 voucher can be claimed. Applicants should send in their voucher along with the invoice marked ‘paid’ and any other information required (as detailed in the terms and conditions). The voucher must be sent in the post and received no later than ten days after the voucher’s expiry date. Both the homeowner/landlord and the installer must sign the voucher and the invoice must detail the installer’s accreditation number. Payment of the cashback will then be processed within twenty-one working days.

The London Boiler Cashback Scheme launched on the same day that it was announced, 2nd February 2016. It has been emphasised that applicants will be dealt with on first-come, first-serve basis so homeowners or private landlords interested in taking up this opportunity should do so sooner rather than later. £2.6b has been allocated for this scheme, which has been warmly welcomed by many including OFTEC. Commenting on the scheme, OFTEC wrote, “it vindicates our long-championed view that a boiler scrappage scheme would be the most effective way to improve the UK’s domestic energy efficiency and substantially reduce carbon emissions.”

While the London Boiler Cashback Scheme is only available to households in the thirty-two London Boroughs, the principals behind the initiative can be applied further afield. To use one of the statistics given by the London Assembly, homeowners could save up to £340 on their heating bills by replacing an old, inefficient boiler and replacing it with a high efficiency model. Not only are oil fuel prices competitively low at present, condensing oil-fired boilers (such as the Vortex range) are designed to capture heat normally lost during the combustion process; consequently, the fuel goes further and homeowners find that they reorder fuel less frequently.

For further information about this Scheme, please click here.

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