The Boiler Upgrade Scheme aims to encourage homeowners in England and Wales to install a low-carbon heating system in place of their existing fossil fuel boiler. The £450 million UK Government initiative offers eligible homeowners a fixed grant of £7,500 towards the installation of an air source heat pump (including water source heat pumps) or a ground source heat pump. It also offers £5,000 towards the installation of a biomass boiler.
Compared to the cost of a traditional fossil fuel boiler, these low-carbon solutions are considerably more expensive and unfeasible for many homeowners in the UK. The BUS scheme therefore attempts to increase uptake of these green technologies by bringing the cost down for end-consumers.
In this article, we’ll break down the Boiler Upgrade Scheme for anyone who’d like to replace a boiler with a heat pump and would like to know how to go about getting the grant.
A key step towards securing up to £7,500 towards your new heating system is to find the right heating engineer to install it. With so many installation companies out there, you could spend countless hours narrowing down your options.
Alternatively, you can leave it to the team at GreenMatch. It’s simple: fill in our 30-second form, then we’ll use your details to match you with up to 3 of the most suitable heat pump or biomass boiler installers in your area. You can then compare their quotes to get the best deal possible.
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The UK Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) officially launched on 1 April 2022 as part of the Heat and Buildings Strategy. The £3.9 billion funding scheme sets out to reduce carbon emissions from UK homes in line with 2050 net zero targets. The scheme is scheduled to run until 2028.
The UK government will increase the BUS grant amount to £7,500 for air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps, up from £5,000 and £6,000, respectively.
This was confirmed in September 2023 and will be active from 23 October 2023. The amount that will be granted to applications currently in process is yet to be confirmed.
Those whose applications have been approved will receive the original grant amount for both air and ground source heat pumps.
This announcement came as part of the government’s Net Zero Strategy Update.
The BUS funding is allocated in the form of a fixed grant. Eligible homeowners in England in Wales may claim up to £7,500 towards the installation of three key low-carbon heating systems:
You cannot receive a BUS grant towards a hybrid heating system, such as a gas boiler that combines with a heat pump.
The BUS grant is provided directly to the heating engineer in the form of a voucher following the installation and commissioning of your new low-carbon heating system. The grant amount is then deducted from the total cost. The BUS operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
To be deemed eligible for a BUS grant, property owners in England and Wales must meet the following criteria:
The new air source, or ground source heat pump you choose, must:
For those looking to install a biomass boiler, you must:
For those living in the UK, but outside of England and Wales, then similar schemes exist that you can take advantage of in your region.
In Scotland, you can apply for a Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan which offers an interest-free loan or a grant towards energy efficiency measures for your home. In Northern Ireland, you can apply for the Boiler Replacement Scheme, which offers grants towards boiler replacement costs.
If you’re unsure about your eligibility, then it’s best to consult a professional heating installer who can make a professional assessment as to the best type of heating system for your home and your home’s eligibility for the grant.
To ensure you’re receiving a good deal for the installation of your new low-carbon heating system, then it’s always best to request quotes from at least 3 installers in your area. This way, you will be able to choose the installer that offers a competitive deal, helping you save money on installation.
Researching the best installers to work with will take you some time. It could take many days before you’ve got multiple quotes to compare. At GreenMatch, we can make this easier for you by matching you directly with up to 3 of the top-rated installers in your area. All of them have been individually vetted by our team and we will only match you with the most suitable installers in your area.
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Based on averages taken from our extensive market research, the BUS could help cover around 60% of the supply and installation of an air source heat pump, 25% of the cost of a ground source heat pump, and 60% of the cost of a new biomass boiler.
The remainder of the biomass boiler costs or heat pump costs must be covered by the homeowner. However, this makes a £10,000 air source heat pump installation cost equivalent to the costs of a new boiler.
|How much does it cost to fit a heat pump in the UK?|
|Technology type||Supply + installation price range||Supply + installation average cost||Supply + installation costs with BUS|
|Air source heat pump||£8,000 – £18,000||£13,000||£5,500|
|Ground source heat pump||£14,500 – £45,000||£21,000||£13,500|
|Biomass boiler||£4,000 – £21,000||£12,500||£7,500|
Another important point of comparison is the running costs of heat pumps vs boilers. Based on today’s energy prices, an air source heat pump will cost £400+ more per year to run for the average sized home compared to a gas boiler performing at 82.5% efficiency.
Low-carbon heating does have the potential to save you in running costs, however, based on todays energy prices. Depending on the type of system you are replacing, and its efficiency, semi-detached three bedroom homes in England, Scotland and Wales could save up to £1,100, according to the Energy Savings Trust. For example, compared to an outdated, G-rated gas boiler, you could save £295 per year.
Boiler Upgrade Scheme applications are largely done through an MSC-certified installer of your choice. The process can be outlined in a few key steps, as shown below:
Following these steps, the grant amount will then be deducted from the total amount you pay for installation. The grant voucher must be redeemed by the installer, within 3 months of the issue date for an air source heat pump or biomass boiler, and within 6 months of the issue date for a ground source heat pump.
We recommend that you request quotes from at least 3 reputable heating engineers so that you can find a good installation deal. Doing this by yourself takes several hours of careful research to make sure that you’re only dealing with the most qualified and reputable options.
Rather than spend all this time and effort, why not leave it to the GreenMatch team to find you up to 3 top-rated options in your area. Based on your details, we can find the perfect match for your project. All of the installers in our wide network are pre-vetted by us. Their quotes are free and come with no obligations.
Whether it’s biomass boilers, air source heat pumps, or ground source heat pumps, GreenMatch can help you on your way to saving up to £7,500 on your new low-carbon heating system.
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