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Last updated: 13 June 2022

Clean Heat Grant - Now known as Boiler Upgrade Scheme 2022!

What Is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

Clean Heat Grant UK

The Clean Heat Grant, now renamed as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, is a UK government-run scheme that aims to help existing small domestic buildings transition to low carbon heating systems for heating their homes. The scheme has come into effect from 1st April 2022 and is expected to replace the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) when it ends on 31st March 2022. The UK government also announced that there will be zero VAT on energy efficient measures starting April 2022.

This is a great time for homes in the UK to make the switch to renewable and energy efficient measures, as there are multiple grants and schemes for both solar panels and heat pumps.

Latest from the UK government:

The UK government has announced its plan to decarbonise the nation through the Heat and Buildings Strategy. £5000 government grants will be given to households as part of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to promote clean heat from low carbon technologies such as heat pumps.

The scheme will run for 3 years starting April 2022, and the government has set aside a budget of £450 million under this scheme.

The main aim of this scheme is to reduce carbon emissions emitted by homes that are still dependent on fossil fuels to heat their homes and enable the phasing out of fossil fuels in the coming years. In order to achieve the government’s ambitious target of installing 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028, this scheme will be a step forward towards this.

Eligibility Criteria For The Boiler Upgrade Scheme

The eligibility criteria for BUS are similar to that of Domestic RHI as the grant is expected to replace RHI in helping existing homes. Based on recent government consultations about the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), a set of criteria has been laid out clearly to let homeowners know what they can expect to get out of this grant should they be eligible. These criteria are detailed below:

  1. The property has to provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that has been issued within the last ten years. EPC tells how energy efficient a building is by giving it a rating in a range between A (very efficient) to G (least efficient), and this helps to understand the carbon emissions released from the property and how costly it is to heat the building.
  2. In order to be eligible for the scheme, a property must either be an existing building or a custom-made one. This is similar to what has been considered for domestic RHI. New builds will not be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. This is because it is more expensive and complicated to switch to low carbon heating in retrofits rather than new builds, and incentives are much needed to make this transition.
  3. Homes are required to get their needs assessed and provide at least one quote from a certified installer in order to qualify for the grant. The responsibility of applying for the voucher lies on the property whereas the installer will have the lead role in redeeming the voucher. This will also ensure that the vouchers are being put to good use for those homes that really need them. It is also important that the installers are MCS certified.
  4. To be eligible for the grant, there must be no recommendations on the valid EPC for loft and cavity wall insulation. There are exemptions to this requirement in case it is a government-listed building or is located in a conservation area. The exemptions will remain the same as listed by the domestic RHI.

How Is It Different from the Domestic RHI?

One of the key differences is the type of funding available. BUS provides vouchers that could cover upfront costs of up to £5,000, while from the RHI you can earn annual payments for seven years based on your heat demand annually.

Through the tariff system of RHI, it is possible to earn up to £28,000 over a period of seven years, and compared to this, the funding is quite limited through the BUS. However, this grant that is set to last only two years may further be extended in time and the amount of funding that will be available.

How Will the Boiler Upgrade Scheme Work?

People can apply for the BUS after they have consulted with and received at least one quotation from a certified installer. Once the vouchers have been issued, work must be completed within 3 months for biomass boilers and air source heat pumps.

This timeline is extended to 6 months for time-consuming, bigger installations such as ground source heat pumps and water source heat pumps. Vouchers of up to £6,000 will be made available and can be redeemed once the work has been completed.

A simple procedure for availing the scheme has been listed on the government site.

Procedure to Avail the Boiler Upgrade Scheme

1. Find an MCS qualified installer and get a quote on your chosen energy efficient measures.

2. Compare quotes from multiple installers to get the best offer, and check whether your installation is eligible for the scheme.

3. Your installer will then apply for the scheme, and when contacted by Ofgem you can confirm that the installer is applying on your behalf.

Which Heating Technologies Are Included?

Clean Heat Technologies Available

The heating technologies that are come under the Clean heat Grant (or BUS) are:

In addition to these, biomass boilers are also eligible for buildings that have poor fabric efficiency and cannot be treated with the other renewable systems. Properties, where biomass is justified, can include them after a heat loss calculation has been demonstrated.

What Can You Expect from This Grant?

Boiler Upgrade Scheme mainly aims at helping segments of the low carbon heating supply chain and enabling existing homes and custom-built homes to contribute their part in cutting carbon emissions. This is a step towards the greater goal of achieving Net Zero by mid-century.

The government, after its ten-point plan, is committed to implementing the Future Homes Standard in order to help new buildings to be low carbon and energy-efficient. The Clean Heat Grant has been unveiled further in the Heat and Buildings Strategy publication which laid out its plan under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. The scheme which holds a funding of £450 million will run for 3 years starting April 2022, and will help households with £5000 government grants for installing low carbon technologies.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme has commenced from 1st April 2022 and there are high hopes for low carbon technologies going forward. The final scheme design will be confirmed later this year in the government response to the original consultation. If you are looking to install a heat pump, it is recommended to begin your research now and act quickly once the scheme launches.

Valli Vishnubhotla
Written by Valli Vishnubhotla, Content Writer

Valli is a content writer at GreenMatch since 2017. She has been writing well researched articles about renewable energy, sustainability and green technologies. She has experience and knowledge about renewable energy products and stays on top of green energy trends. With over 5 years of expertise in the field, her work has been published in various media such as Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Canadian Geographic, uSwitch , and eCycle. The UK government sites have also made use of her work within their publications.