As part of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, the government will contribute up to £6,000 towards heat pump system installation in UK homes. Any leftover costs for installation will then be paid by the homeowner. The government has set aside £450 million for this scheme and will operate it on a first-come, first-served basis for those who meet the eligibility criteria.
On average about 90,000 homes are predicted to benefit from BUS over the next three years. It will run from April 2022 to April 2025 and was previously known as the Clean Heat Grant, taking the place of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which finished on 31st March 2022.
What heating systems will be covered by the grant?
Heat pump installations
The below types of heat pumps (high and low-temperature units) will be covered by the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
- Ground source heat pumps
- Air source heat pumps
- Water source heat pumps
Qualifying households need to have a heat pump capacity lower than or equal to 45KW, restricting the support to smaller installations. Shared ground loop arrays are permitted, subject to a “total system capacity” limit of 45KW.
The government’s aim to drive down the cost of clean heat also makes it clear that in a few situations where homes are not deemed suitable for heat pumps, the grant could cover biomass installations. However, this is only when it is completely necessary and only in rural areas, not urban populations. Both the government and the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) state that heat pumps offer the most potential for heat decarbonisation.
What systems won’t be covered by BUS?
There will be help available to installations offering space and water heating in buildings, but the scheme does not include:
- Process heating
- Biogas combustion
- Hybrid (bivalent) heat pump systems
- Heat networks with a “total system capacity” of more than 45KW
- Solar thermal
However, solar thermal systems can be fitted as part of a heat pump system funded by the scheme, providing the heating system can meet the complete space and water heating requirements.
Who is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme for?
BUS is aimed at households and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales. The flat-rate grant is designed to aid with the cost of fitting heat pumps to provide full space heating and hot water, replacing existing fossil fuel systems like oil, gas, or direct electric. The heat pumps need to have a minimum SCOP of 2.8.
All applicants need to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), provided within the last 10 years. If a home has an EPC or insulation exemption, for instance, if it is a listed building, it might be eligible. You will still be able to apply if you currently have loft or cavity wall insulation, but you need to have a commitment to improving this in order to qualify for BUS.
Custom and self-build homes will qualify for BUS, as eco-friendly building regulations will need to have been complied with. This means that custom and self-builders will not have to provide an EPC as evidence for insulation eligibility.
Who is not eligible for BUS?
The scheme is not available in Northern Ireland and Scotland. There are separate funding schemes running such as Home Energy Scotland. Anyone replacing an existing low-carbon heating system will not qualify. Also, the scheme is not open to anyone in social housing and new-build homes.
What are the key details of BUS?
Any heat pump systems that were commissioned on or after 1st April 2022 will be entitled to apply for funding. Installers have the option to open an account for the scheme with Ofgem and a more detailed consultation on 11th April should have provided extra details to installers. The scheme is open to grant applications and payments on 23rd May.
Customers that are interested in applying for BUS should register their interest with MCS-certified heat pump installers through Ofgem, they will then agree on a quote for the fitting of the new system and apply for the grant on their behalf. Ofgem provides grant vouchers based on availability and if all aspects of the criteria are met. Any outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation have to be finished before the voucher for funding can be redeemed.
The voucher for funding through BUS will be valid for six months, during which time the installation must be completed, and the heat pump commissioned by the verified installer. If the voucher expires, the application can be started again, but allocations for vouchers are made on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning you could miss out.
The benefit of the grant is that it is designed to offset the cost of installation. Redeeming the voucher will be done by the certified fitter, who will confirm proof of the installation and process the paperwork when finished.
To check your eligibility for a heat pump grant click here and our team will check if you qualify for funding.