Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

With effect from May 23rd, 2022, a new UK government incentive for domestic renewable energy infrastructure called the Boiler Upgrade Scheme has been in operation. It is provisionally scheduled to remain in force until an unspecified date in 2025.

The main idea of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is to subsidise the cost of replacing domestic gas, oil and mains-powered electric central heating systems with heat pumps and, in rural properties off the mains gas grid only, with biomass boilers.

This is in the interest of decarbonising domestic energy supply, so helping the UK to meet its targets of cutting net CO2 emissions by 78% on 1990 levels by 2035 and becoming fully carbon-neutral by 2050.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme applies only to properties in England and Wales, to the exclusion of Scotland. It offers successful applicants an up-front grant of £5,000 towards the cost of their new air-source heat pump or biomass boiler installation, or £6,000 towards that of their new ground-source heat pump installation.

How do I apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

As a homeowner, you may not apply directly for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. Instead, you must ask your heat pump installer or biomass boiler installer to apply for the BUS on your behalf.

All grants awarded under the BUS are paid to your installer, who then passes the same amount on to you in the form of a discount on your bill.

Ofgem, the energy regulator, will contact you to verify that the installer’s application is legitimate, in order to stop rogue installers from issuing fraudulent claims under the scheme.

At Gregor, we are happy to apply to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme on behalf of our eligible customers for Ground-Source Heat Pumps and Air-Source Heat Pumps.

If you are interested in upgrading your fossil fuel or mains electricity-based heating system to a heat pump, don’t delay, call Gregor today on 0117 935 2400 or 01225 738 397, and ask to speak to our Renewables team.

Am I eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

Your eligibility for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is subject to meeting the criteria set out by the government. These include:

  • Start date of installation of your new heat pump or biomass boiler: this must be no sooner than April 1st, 2022 and no later than the eventual closing date of the scheme, expected to be some time in 2025.

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) status: you must be in possession of a valid EPC issued within the past two years in respect of the property on which the work will be carried out. Furthermore, you must have implemented any outstanding recommendations on the EPC document for completing the insulation of your property to the required standard. This may include loft insulation to the recommended 270mm thickness, and / or cavity wall insulation. There may be exceptional circumstances such as a recognised risk of damp ingress in older properties of particular types of construction and in particularly wet locations that allow for an exemption from the normal requirement for cavity wall insulation.

  • Classification of property: the property in respect of which you apply to the scheme must normally be either a home you already own and live in (known as an ‘owner-occupier’ home), or one of which you are the private landlord. Second homes are eligible, and some small commercial (‘non-domestic’) properties may also be eligible. Property owned by local councils and rented out as social housing is ineligible. New-build properties under construction by property development companies are also ineligible, whether or not they have already found buyers. Self-build properties whose construction is being overseen or carried out by a private owner intending to inhabit them without a property development company having owned them first may however be eligible for the scheme provided that the application is in respect of heat pump installations, and not biomass boilers.

  • Total heat energy requirement of property: the property must have an estimated total heat energy supply requirement of no more than 45 kWth (Kilowatts-thermal). This covers nearly all domestic properties but may exclude some exceptionally large mansions and converted former schools and churches.

  • Effectiveness of new installation at meeting total heat energy requirement of property: the heat pump or biomass boiler system being installed must be capable of fully meeting both the space heating requirements and the hot water requirements of the property in which it is being installed. This means that it is not permitted to install a cheaper heat pump system that only meets a fraction of the total energy needs of the property and then claim back its cost under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

  • Technical efficiency of new installation: the heat pump or biomass boiler system being installed must meet or exceed regulated efficiency standards for products of its class; in the case of biomass boilers, they must also meet standards for maximum levels of polluting emissions. Most new commercial products should meet the standards currently in force for efficiency and emissions, but if in doubt, please check with your supplier or installer that the products they are proposing to sell you or install at your property meet them.

  • Technology of the previous heating system at the property: the previous heating system at the property must be fossil fuel-based or based on mains electricity. It is not permitted to apply to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to replace an existing low-carbon heating system (e.g. solar thermal panels) with a new one, even if the new one is better and more comprehensive in its meeting of your domestic heating needs.

What happened to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive?

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI) scheme was a similar incentive that was in force before the BUS was launched and has been completely replaced by it. It operated along different lines, with staged repayments to the householder over a number of years.

The DRHI closed to new applicants at the end of 31st March, 2022. However, if you had already applied successfully to the DRHI before the end of March 2022, you will remain eligible for all the payments that were due under the scheme.

Air to Air Heat Pump

If you are interested in upgrading your fossil fuel or mains electricity-based heating system to a heat pump, don’t delay, call Gregor today on 0117 935 2400 or 01225 738 397, and ask to speak to our Renewables team.

Alternatively, fill in our Heat Pump pre-survey questionnaire and one of our heat pump survey engineers will get back to you.