Energy Efficiency Support: Official Boiler Upgrade Scheme Launched by Government

Official Boiler Upgrade Scheme launched by the government 

The government has officially launched its Boiler Upgrade Scheme to address fears that landlords will need better funding solutions to help them meet energy efficiency targets.

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An array of grants are now available to property owners in England and Wales to encourage them to install low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps.

If the house is in a rural location and not connected to the gas grid, landlords can claim:

  • £5,000 towards the cost of an air source heat pump
  • £6,000 for a ground source heat pump
  • £5,000 for a biomass boiler if the house

The grants are applied for via installers on behalf of the landlord with the value being taken off the price paid.

Landlords who have applied for and received separate funding for other energy efficiency upgrades such as insulation, doors or windows are still eligible to apply under the three-year scheme.

Am I eligible for this scheme?

To be eligible to apply, a landlord must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate, so issued within the last 10 years. This is a legal requirement, so you should have one anyway, or you risk being fined!

Leading industry experts, including Propertymark, believe a national retrofitting programme backed up by longer-term funding is what’s needed.

Propertymark Head of Policy and Campaigns, Timothy Douglas, says the bits of funding which are starting to emerge, are just a ‘drop in the ocean’:

The property sector needs a national retrofitting programme that’s linked to realistic and achievable targets and dedicated, long-term grants that take into account the age, condition, and size of properties.

Douglas added that it is unlikely any real progress will be made unless landlords and homeowners are given sustained financial incentives.

Does support for energy efficiency go far enough?

All this comes after the government proposed that new rental properties will need an EPC rating of C or above by 2025 and that would apply to all tenancies from 2028. The government also introduced a 0% VAT rate on selected energy efficiency materials in its recent Spring Budget.

However, the cost-of-living is rising, with many tenants worried about how they will manage to pay the combined costs of rent, utility bills and food. More than 50% of landlords feel they need to redeem the costs of the required energy improvements from rent, as the average spend is around £5,900, with some landlords already spending up to £8,900.

It seems likely that both landlords and tenants will struggle under the push to reach net zero, so the government needs to do more to help the country achieve its aims to halt climate change, while ensuring that landlords and tenants aren’t financially crushed by its demands. 

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